Free-climber scales ‘Cheesegrater’ skyscraper in central London

A man is seen climbing the Leadenhall Building skyscraper in London
A man is seen climbing the Leadenhall Building skyscraper in London

A man has been arrested after climbing up the Leadenhall Building, commonly known as the Cheesegrater, in central London.

It was not clear if the man made it to the top of the skyscraper unaided, but footage and photos of the dangerous stunt suggested he came close at the very least.

In videos uploaded online by nearby office workers, the man can be seen making light work of the 738 ft (225m) structure, effortlessly ascending a section of the building’s exposed triangular beams.

The tower is made of glass and steel, with one side slanted and the other straight - similar to the shape of a cheesegrater.

Police confirmed the man was arrested and taken into custody following the stunt on Friday morning in the capital’s financial district.

Denika Leonard, who uploaded footage of the climb on Twitter, said: “My first week living in London and I get this as entertainment on a Friday.”

Others were less amused, with witness Carl Rolfe describing the man as “some idiot”.

Chief Inspector Tom Fisher, of City of London Police, said: “A man has been arrested for aggravated trespass after climbing up the Leadenhall building in the City.

“We were called at 09.06am and quickly put a cordon in place.

“He was met on the roof by police officers and taken into custody.”

Free climbing, which does not involve the use of a harness or rope, has been growing in prominence in recent years as its practitioners choose ever-more daring attempts to defy death - and chase online ratings.

Last year Adam Lockwood took on The Shard in London in a free climb at dawn, capping the feat with a triumphant selfie at the top.

He was given a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in August 2020.

Lockwood’s solicitor said his client’s motivation was the pursuit of fame and financial reward from video sharing website YouTube. “It’s all about YouTube hits,” he said. “YouTube pay.”

In July a climber was killed after trying to scale a skyscraper in Hong Kong.

Remi Lucidi was last seen knocking on a window on the 68th floor of Tregunter Tower before plummeting to his death.

The 30-year-old, who described himself as a Hong Kong-based photographer, climbed structures across the world to capture selfies.

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