French man told to climb every mountain, not towers

A French national who scaled the side of a Melbourne skyscraper without any safety gear has claimed he wasn't seeking fame or social media followers.

Anthony Andolfo, 30, was on Tuesday convicted and sentenced in Melbourne Magistrates Court to seven days in jail, reckoned as time served, after pleading guilty over the February 6 incident.

Andolfo had climbed over a ninth-floor balcony at the Avani building on A'Beckett Street about 7.50am and began climbing without any ropes, harnesses or other safety equipment.

He made his way up to the roof of the 56-storey building where he was met by police, firefighters and paramedics.

Andolfo's associate, 25-year-old French national Hugo Frohlinger, was filming the 26-minute climb on a drone.

But Andolfo's lawyer Michael Haralambous told the court his client was not seeking fame or more social media followers.

"He wasn't chasing notoriety - he was chasing the thrill," Mr Haralambous said on Tuesday.

"He selected the building because he wanted to climb and have that moment of tranquillity that's only achieved by climbing at a great height."

The lawyer said Andolfo, who has experience scaling buildings in other countries, filmed his climb to analyse his technique and share it with other climbers.

But the 30-year-old accepted he inconvenienced emergency services and members of the public, Mr Haralambous said.

"He's sorry to the Victorian community," the lawyer said.

The seven-day stint behind bars was Andolfo's first time in custody, as he was previously arrested without charge in France for scaling another building.

An added punishment was that he had to celebrate his 30th birthday in a Victorian prison cell, Mr Haralambous said.

The lawyer submitted a substantial fine was within range for the offending but Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt queried whether a financial penalty would be left unpaid.

Mr Klestadt also rejected the claim that Andolfo was not seeking fame, saying the 30-year-old was clearly after more than just an adrenaline high.

"The presence of an accomplice who filmed your behaviour shows that it was, at least in part, for the purpose of self-promotion, self-aggrandisement and the enhancement of your reputation among people who engage in similar risk-taking behaviour," Mr Klestadt said.

While Andolfo and members of the public were not harmed, the magistrate noted the climb could have easily resulted in serious injury or death.

Mr Klestadt said the court needed to denounce such dangerous, risk-taking behaviour so a seven-day jail term would be imposed.

Andolfo has already served his prison term while on remand at the maximum security Port Phillip Prison.

"There are plenty of mountains in the world to climb, Mr Andolfo," Mr Klestadt said.

"I would suggest you restrict your climbing adventures to natural terrain."

The 30-year-old French national will be released from custody on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Haralambous said Andolfo intended to leave Australia "as soon as possible" as he missed his scheduled flights to Panama while on remand.

Andolfo's co-offender Hugo Frohlinger was last week convicted and fined $3000 for his role in the incident.

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store