'Mass delays' on M621 in Leeds caused by drunk who threatened to jump off motorway bridge, stripped naked and exposed himself

A drunk caused major disruption to the motorway network in Leeds by exposing himself and threatening to jump off a bridge over the M621.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 5:39 pm

Denis Bertok caused the motorway to be brought to a standstill on two occasions when he climbed over railings on a bridge at Holbeck, sparking a safety alert.

During one of the offences he climbed down onto the roof of a bus, removed his clothing and exposed himself.

Leeds Crown Court heard a second incident took place on Christmas Day, causing disruption for festive travellers.

Denis Bertok caused chaos on the M621 motorway in Leeds by threatening to jump off bridge and exposing himself.

The 21-year-old defendant was locked up for 22 months after pleading guilty to outraging public decency, causing a public nuisance, threatening behaviour and criminal damage in relation to four incidents in 2020.

David Hewitt, prosecuting, said Bertok climbed over protective railings on the bridge above the M621 on September 15.

A bus on the motorway stopped underneath Bertok to prevent him from landing on the carriageway.

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Denis Bertok climbed over railings and threatened to jump off a motorway bridge in Holbeck onto the M621

Mr Hewitt said the defendant exposed himself to members of the public, threw his mobile phone onto the motorway and demanded a cigarette.

The prosecutor said: "He also exposed his bare bottom."

The motorway had to be closed in both directions for over an hour until Bertok eventually agreed to come down.

Bertok caused traffic chaos for a second time on December 25 when he climbed over the railings and made threats to jump off the bridge.

The motorway had to be closed for 45 minutes.

Bertok committed five offences of criminal damage on another occasion by vandalising cars in a street.

On October 24 Bertok was arrested for a further criminal damage offence after a police officer saw him repeatedly punching a phone box.

Phillip Morris, mitigating, said Bertok, of Colwyn Terrace, Beeston, committed all of the offences while he was drunk.

He said the Slovakian national had been in custody since Christmas Day and was struggling to cope in prison as English is not his first language.

Mr Morris added: "He recognises that his position is worsened by the fact that there are not just one, but two, offences of causing a public nuisance."

Judge Simon Batiste said: "The common characteristic of these offences are that you were drunk when they were committed."

Referring to the disruption to the motorway network, the judge said: "What occurred was mass delay.

"On December 25, Christmas Day, you again caused a public nuisance by climbing over the the railings of the M621.

"You caused the motorway to be shut in both directions, inevitably causing upset to people who had been seeking to travel.

"In my judgement these offences, taken cumulatively, are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified."