Metal barrier thrown in front of train by Hartlepool man could have had 'catastrophic' consequences, court heard
A drunken Hartlepool man who threw a security barrier in front of a train narrowly avoided causing a catastrophe.
The driver of the Northern Rail service to Newcastle from Middlesbrough removed the barrier from the track after running it over.
John Davison was seen to throw it by a member of the public and was arrested nearby, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.
“This happened at 9.20pm outside Middlesbrough railway station,” said Emma Cruickshank, prosecuting.
“A member of the public in a flat overlooking the station saw the barrier being thrown.
“Davison was arrested nearby.
“He told police he had been on a night out in Middlesbrough from his home in Hartlepool.
“Davison couldn’t say why he had done what he did, other than to say he was very drunk.”
Ms Cruickshank said throwing the barrier put members of the public and the driver at risk.
“The consequences of this could have been catastrophic,” she added.
“Fortunately there were no injuries, and the driver was able to remove the obstruction.”
Davison, 34, of Park Road, Hartlepool, admitted obstructing a railway engine on July 16.
His last previous conviction was for outraging public decency, the court heard.
Paul Crocker, defending, said: “Mr Davison is mortified by his actions.
“He wishes to apologise to the railway passengers and the driver.
“Drink has been a factor in much of his offending.
“Since this incident, he has sought help to control his intake.”
Davison was given four months in prison, suspended for 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work, 25 rehabilitation activity days, and ordered to pay £207 costs.