A local newspaper reporter helped talk down a protestor threatening to throw himself off the roof of a shop in Margate town centre yesterday.
Saul Leese, a reporter for the Isle of Thanet Gazette in Kent, intervened after the man climbed to the top of a Boots store and unfurled a banner reading: “Why should I be punished coz I want to see my kids?”
He then threatened to jump from the roof of the High Street store, leading to a town centre shutdown by police, with the stand-off lasting several hours until the man asked to speak with a member of the media.
According to a report on thisiskent.co.uk, Leese was sent up to speak to him and ‘within minutes the drama was brought to an end”.
‘He told me how angry he was that he was having problems contacting his three children,’said Leese. ‘He felt incredibly angry and wanted to tell his story to the press. I am very glad that he did come down and pleased to have been able to help the police.”
After speaking with the man, identified only as Daniel, for around 20 minutes he agreed to come down and was later arrested by police.
Chief Inspector Rory Welburn told thisiskent: ‘We had concerns for his welfare. We negotiated with him and would like to thank Saul for helping to bring him down.”
The website was updated throughout the morning as the events unfolded with reporting from Laura Archer and Andrew Woodman.
Using video streaming via online service Bambuser, Woodman was able to stream live video footage direct to the web from his mobile phone.
Thisiskent digital publisher Rhys Griffiths coordinated the website’s coverage with Isle of Thanet Gazette editor Rebecca Smith.
‘This story is a fantastic example of reporters using the technology available to them to tell a breaking news story as it happened,’he told Press Gazette.
‘Working with Rebecca and her team on the ground, who provided me with continuous updates from the scene, I was able to create a comprehensive package of words, pictures and video to bring this dramatic story to our audience.
‘I was particularly impressed with Andrew Woodman’s use of Bambuser to stream live video right from his mobile phone.
‘His reporter’s instinct to capture these images as they played out before him meant I was then able to draw this footage into our online coverage and further illustrate the story for our readers.”