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UK's 'silent man' repeatedly arrested for blocking same road but has never spoken a word to anyone

Poppy Bilderbeck

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UK's 'silent man' repeatedly arrested for blocking same road but has never spoken a word to anyone

People are taking to social media in support of a 'silent man' who repeatedly returns to block the same road but has never explained why.

You've heard of demonstrators taking to roads to block traffic in protest of the climate crisis and rising fuel prices, but have you heard of the so-called 'silent man' who repeatedly blocks traffic outside of Swansea Central police station?

Since 2014, David Hampson has been taking to the exact same road and getting in the way of cars, continuing to do so even after being arrested. But why?

David Hampson first started blocking De La Beche street in 2014. Credit: South Wales Police
David Hampson first started blocking De La Beche street in 2014. Credit: South Wales Police

Hampson's most recent road block occurred on 3 December, 2021 at around 4:45pm when he took to the same spot - De La Beche Street - to stand in the middle of the busy main road disrupting traffic.

Whatever the 51-year-old's reasons for standing in the road, he is yet to explain - or stop - even after being arrested and made subject to a criminal behaviour order banning him from obstructing any public highway in both England and Wales.

Hampson's last road block resulted in him being approached by a PC and two special constables who later detained him under the Mental Health Act.

Hampson was cautioned, charged and appeared in Swansea Magistrates Court the next day, before later being remanded in custody and attending a hearing on 13 May 2022 - but despite all of this, he still said nothing.

Hampson has repeatedly returned to the same spot near Swansea Central Police Station. Credit: Phil Rees/ Alamy Stock Photo
Hampson has repeatedly returned to the same spot near Swansea Central Police Station. Credit: Phil Rees/ Alamy Stock Photo

As a result of Hampson's lack of communication, a not guilty plea was made on his behalf and the case went to trial.

However, one major question remained: Whether or not Hampson can actually speak, but chooses not to - known as 'mute of malice' - or whether he has a mental health or physical issue which actually prevents him from being able to speak - known as 'mute by visitation of god'.

The jury resolved Hampson was 'mute of malice,' however a psychiatric report was later ordered by the judge.

Hampson was sentenced to three-and-a-half years during his trial at Swansea Magistrates Court. Credit: Maurice Savage/ Alamy Stock Photo
Hampson was sentenced to three-and-a-half years during his trial at Swansea Magistrates Court. Credit: Maurice Savage/ Alamy Stock Photo

Alas, Hampson didn't speak to the psychiatrist either but they were able to access the 51-year-old's doctors records and it was later resolved his lack of speech was 'selective and deliberate' but that there could be 'financial stresses' and 'social stresses' which impact it.

Despite this, the doctor said he couldn't make a clear diagnosis or any official comment which could aid or impact Hampson's trial.

Judge Huw Rees resolved Hampson's silence as showing 'breath-taking arrogance and insolence'.

Hampson - who was given a two-year conditional discharge in 2014 for four counts of wilfully obstructing free passage, convicted of a public nuisance offence in 2015 for repeating the same offence, handed a criminal court order in 2017 and later received a custodial sentence for breaching it in both 2016 and 2017, before being sentenced to 42 months in prison in 2018 - has since been warned by Judge Rees he will face more and more time in prison if he repeats the offence.

Hampson, of no fixed abode, continued to say nothing while being sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, not even opening his mouth to confirm his name.

Social media users have spoken out in concern for Hampson. Credit: u/Wordlife4461/ Reddit
Social media users have spoken out in concern for Hampson. Credit: u/Wordlife4461/ Reddit

People have flooded to Reddit in confusion over Hampson's repetitive road-blocking to try and figure out why the 51-year-old continues to commit the offence.

One said: "It's calling trolling."

"Guy's homeless, prison's better than the street," another suggested.

A final resolved: "Failure in our approach to mental health care. We have to do something more than prison for these people."

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone

Featured Image Credit: South Wales Police/Robert Evans / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Cars, Crime, Reddit, Social Media, True Crime, UK News, Viral, Mental Health

Poppy Bilderbeck
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