Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'Cruel' crowd urged man to jump off Portsmouth building

The family of man who jumped from a 40ft-high building in Portsmouth brand as "cruel" onlookers who encouraged him and filmed the fall.

Police negotiators were trying to talk the 26-year-old local man down from the top of the building when people started shouting at him to jump.

Footage and photos were later posted on the internet.

The man survived the fall on Tuesday and remains in Southampton General Hospital in a serious condition.

His parents said in a statement released through Hampshire police that the incident "came as a shock and was completely out of character for our son".

'Disgusting display'

They continued: "He is a vulnerable man who has had to deal with some significant challenges in his life and when he clearly needed compassion and understanding was met with cruel taunts and encouragement to end his life.

"Despite this, he is hanging on in hospital and we are hoping he will recover. If he does, he will have a long journey ahead of him.

"The behaviour of people at the scene on Tuesday shows a lack of understanding for people like our son and what they may be going through.

"It is a small comfort that from where he was standing he probably couldn't hear the yells of people urging him to jump."

A Hampshire police spokesman said it was "a disgusting display" by the people who had gathered, which showed "a complete lack of empathy" for the man on top of the building.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites