"I'm lucky I didn't drown in the Ouse", admits bridge jumper

Jamie Keith Richardson

Jamie Keith Richardson

First published in News
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A MAN who jumped into the River Ouse twice while drunk has admitted he is lucky not to have died.

Jamie Keith Richardson, 33, pictured, stripped down to his boxer shorts and jumped into the river from King’s Staith, then climbed out and jumped in from Ouse Bridge.

Police were sent to the scene by CCTV operators, and when he climbed out again, police were waiting for him. On his second jump, Richardson had hit the bottom of the river, and suffered cuts to his foot and head.

Richardson, who has previous convictions for manslaughter and assault, was arrested for being drunk and disorderly after the incident on July 17.

Speaking outside York Magistrates Court yesterday, after being given an absolute discharge, he said: “It was wrong, what I did. I’d had a drink and thought I was clever. I had seen in the news about the people who had died this year. The young lad who dived in the river and didn’t go off the bridge, he died.

“I thought about it after I got arrested. I jumped off the bridge under the influence of alcohol, and survived, but someone went in the side and died. I was lucky.

“It wasn’t clever, that’s the thing. I have seen people do it before and thought I wouldn’t do it, but it’s a different story when you’re under the influence. I definitely won’t do it again now. Not after the court case, no.

“I thought I was going to get a fine but spent so long in the police station. I’m lucky, because those people have died and I did something more extreme than them and I walked away from it. I’m just lucky.”

The court heard Richardson used inappropriate language while speaking to the officers, who tried to tell him how dangerous his actions were, so after paramedics tended to his injuries at the scene he was taken into custody.

Magistrate Susan Candelet gave Richardson the absolute discharge, considering the time he spent in custody following the incident as appropriate justice.

She said: “I am sure you realise how dangerous it was for you to keep jumping in the river as you did, more so while in drink.”

Chief Inspector Alisdair Dey, of York Police, said: “Anyone who jumps into the river is putting their life at risk and fortunately in this case there was no tragic ending. However, others have not been so fortunate and I urge people not to enter the water under any circumstances.”

Richardson was sentenced to four years in prison in 2000 for manslaughter, after he attacked a mentally-ill man. In July 2008, he admitted pouring superglue over the eyes and face of his room-mate at a York homeless centre, and was given a suspended sentence after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm.

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