Shard climber's parents blast 'outrageous' 24-week sentence

Shard climber’s parents blast 20-year-old’s ‘outrageous’ 24-week sentence and say the court ‘made an example of him to deter others’ as they praise his skills as an ‘elite athlete’

  • George King-Thompson scaled structure near London Bridge with no harness 
  • Locked up after admitting contempt of court while injunction was in place 
  • Parents slammed the decision, saying he should have got community service
  • Mr King-Thompson has no criminal record and committed a civil offence 

The parents of Shard climber George King-Thomson have blasted the 19-year-old’s 24-week jail sentence and said the court is making an example of the ‘elite athlete’. 

Hilary and Clive King-Thompson told Good Morning Britain today that the prison term was ‘outrageous’ and ‘a complete shock’.

The teenager from Oxford climbed the building from the ground floor to near the very top in just 45 minutes in July this year. 

He admitted being in contempt of court after disobeying injunctions about scaling the structure and was locked up in a young offenders institute for six months on October 21. 

Today his parents branded the punishment ‘bizarre’ as he mother pointed out that he has no criminal record and had committed a civil offence.

‘Somebody like George can be so useful in the community, give him community service, don’t lock him away,’ his mother added.

Mr King-Thompson pointed out that while his son received a custodial sentence, 17-year-old drug driver Max Coopey got 100 hours’ community service after killing two pedestrians.


George King-Thompson (pictured, left, outside court and, right, scaling the Shard) was handed six months in a young offenders’ institute

King-Thompson (pictured) scaled the structure in just 45 minutes and the building’s owners took him to court for breaching an injunction  

Mrs King Thompson has accused the Shard’s owners of trying to put other people off emulating her son’s stunt.

‘They are making an example of him to deter other people from climbing the shard because there was an injunction on the building,’ she said. 

‘George probably knew about that but didn’t understand it or understand the implications.’

She also told Susanna Reid and Adil Ray that she was proud of her son’s passion, but admitted she and her husband don’t enjoy him risking his life. 

‘He’s amazing I admire him for doing his own thing,’ she said. ‘He’s so passionate and that’s his message that he wants to get out to the world. Nothing I say or do will stop him doing what he wants to do – I admire him for that. It’s an incredible achievement, he’s an elite athlete.’ 

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