Angry passenger stood in front of train

PUBLISHED: 07:53 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:29 12 June 2015

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court 2

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court 2

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Axminster man halted packed Waterloo express after row over ticket

An angry rail passenger at the centre of a ticket row halted a train – by standing in the middle of the line.

Frustrated Jason Richards was fuming when he was locked out of the train as he tried to pay the £10 fare, a court heard.

So the 34-year-old stormed down the platform and stood 20 yards in front of the engine in the centre of the railway track on the main Exeter to Waterloo line.

The South West train was packed with passengers at the time at Whimple railway station, as Richards halted their journey.

The jobless dad admitted a charge under the Malicious Damage Act of obstructing an engine using the railway by an unlawful act.

Prosecutor Deborah Hodges said Richards was asked to show his ticket to the conductor shortly after he got on to the train from his home town of Axminster, as he was commuting to Exeter.

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard his credit card was faulty and he was unable to use the conductor’s machine, so he was told to get off and use the machine on the platform at Whimple.

Richards did get off but was anxious that his faulty card may be swallowed up by the machine. He got back on but was told he could not travel without a ticket – and the conductor put his possessions on the platform.

Richards got off again and claimed the conductor locked the door behind him – even though the defendant had £200 in cash on him and was happy to pay for his ticket in cash.

The court heard he then stood in front of the train preventing it from leaving the station.

The prosecutor said the conductor then said Richards could travel to Exeter without a ticket and he was allowed back on – but police were waiting for him at Exeter’s main station when it pulled in five minutes after its scheduled arrival which Network Rail said cost it £475.

Defence lawyer Peter Seigne said: “He is sorry for his actions; he did not know it was an offence.”

The magistrates said potentially it was a ‘serious incident’ but gave him a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £50 compensation to the railway.

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