The second-in-command at Sony Japan was a visitor, he had come to see Sony UK’s 1700 sq. metre triple-decker stand. We greeted him at the entrance and escorted him through the show. My security detail went a little over-the-top with sunglasses and ear pieces, looking more like the Presidential Secret Service. We had escorted him up through their stand to its top floor, when I received a radio message (I used a headset, so this was privately heard).
The message told me that a girl had fallen the length of the Earls Court wooden escalator at the venue front. This was a steep and extremely long escalator that spanned from Level Two to the Ground – and I was told she was dead!
I excused myself from the Sony party leaving them with the security detail in their own space. I sprinted the length of Earls Court through the busy aisles – I was younger then! I got to the lobby to find to my great relief that she was in fact alive. She had a friend with her who pointed at someone going out through the turnstiles and said that he had pushed her friend down the escalator. I vaulted the turnstile and rugby-tackled him to the ground – the adrenalin and testosterone were certainly flowing!
The security team took over and escorted the guy to their office, while I went to the First Aid post to check on the girl. She had been wheel-chaired there and was behind a curtain in a cubicle, so I was reduced to hovering outside. Eventually I lost patience and called out that I needed to see her, I was promptly admitted and asked her what had happened. She said, ‘Pissed mate, I fell’, I said her friend had said she was pushed, she said, ‘She’s pissed too’. I left and got on the radio to call the security team, visions of them beating a confession out of this innocent guy. We apologised profusely, got him some free kit from an exhibitor and that panic was laid to rest.