Serial mountain rescue faker who took a selfie while being winched to safety is jailed for 16 months

As a means of attracting attention, staging accidents on various mountain ranges is not overly common. But that is likely to be of little consolation to the crews who have raced to the aid of Michael Cuminskey, a serial mountain rescue faker with a penchant for taking a selfie as he is winched to safety.

Mr. Cuminskey’s antics have cost tens of thousands of pounds, with unnecessary rescues from mountains in Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Scottish borders, a court heard.

The 23-year-old, from Darlington, UK pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance after staging accidents in the Lake District in March 2016 and three days later at Llanberis in Snowdonia. The estimated cost of the coastguard rescue helicopter call-out in Snowdonia came to £33,000.

Brett Williamson, prosecuting, told Caernarfon crown court Cuminskey had started behaving “irrationally” while climbing in the Vivian Quarry, Llanberis, and was found by a man at the bottom of a 130ft drop, claiming his back was painful.

Twenty mountain rescue team volunteers were assembled but as Cuminskey was winched aboard the helicopter he tried to take a mobile phone selfie.

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