You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dangerous ‘black spots’ allowing people to illegally climb Sydney Harbour Bridge

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 8/07/2019 9News Staff

A man who scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge in protest of the Iranian government has avoided being sent to jail.

a man with his mouth open: A man who scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge in protest of the Iranian government has avoided being sent to jail. © Supplied A man who scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge in protest of the Iranian government has avoided being sent to jail. Naghi Pirzadeh, 33, yesterday parked his car at the northern end of the bridge, blocking traffic, before beginning to climb Sydney’s iconic bridge in extremely foggy weather conditions.

After a police rescue team managed to remove him from the bridge, he was charged with damaging, disrupting or obstructing the structure – an offence which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail or a $22,000 fine.

a view of a city street filled with lots of traffic: Naghi Pirzadeh, 33, yesterday parked his car at the northern end of the bridge, blocking traffic, before beginning to climb Sydney’s iconic bridge in extremely foggy weather conditions. © 9News Naghi Pirzadeh, 33, yesterday parked his car at the northern end of the bridge, blocking traffic, before beginning to climb Sydney’s iconic bridge in extremely foggy weather conditions.

Pirzadeh today pleaded guilty in Central Local Court to illegally climbing the bridge and, instead of having to spend a term in a jail cell, the magistrate sentenced him to a nine-month Intensive Corrections Order.

That penalty means he will be sent back to his hometown in Victoria and will serve the term living in the public under strict supervision.

The incident was the second time the Iranian national has climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge after first being caught scaling it in 2018 – also in protest of the Iranian government.

Despite upgrades to security promised last year in the wake of a mentally ill man climbing the bridge and bringing the city to a standstill for five hours. © AAP Despite upgrades to security promised last year in the wake of a mentally ill man climbing the bridge and bringing the city to a standstill for five hours.

The 33-year-old has previously been caught throwing paint at the Iranian embassy in Canberra.

The incident comes as NSW Police have admitted there are “black spots” on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which are not monitored by CCTV cameras.

Despite upgrades to security promised last year in the wake of a mentally ill man climbing the bridge and bringing the city to a standstill for five hours, protesters were able to scale the bridge again in May.

Several Greenpeace activists are currently before the courts over the incident that generated almost 27 hours (26 hrs 53 mins) of CCTV footage from RMS cameras on the bridge.

a bridge over a body of water: The incidents come as NSW Police have admitted there are “black spots” on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which are not monitored by CCTV cameras. © AAP The incidents come as NSW Police have admitted there are “black spots” on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which are not monitored by CCTV cameras.

But the RMS has refused to release the footage to 9News, not because the matter is still before the courts, but because it would expose the bridge’s security flaws and compromise public safety.

Disclosure of the footage “could reasonably be expected to endanger the security of and prejudice a system for protecting the Sydney Harbour Bridge and members of the public using the Bridge”, according to the RMS information access manager.

The “black spots” have attracted the concern of security consultant Craig Sheridan, who said safety is paramount for a structure as globally iconic as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“The worst can happen, it’s about getting these things right, making sure there are no gaps, making sure there are no vulnerabilities,” he told 9News.

“It’s certainly a large structure and there are a lot of challenges around securing the bridge.

“The worst case scenario, well that’s obvious, there could be an attack and it would be absolutely catastrophic.”

More from 9News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon