Drunk passenger from Buckley attacked guard

Published date: 06 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A PASSENGER was so “hammered” after drinking vodka that he could not remember getting on a train.

But when Richard Thomas Unwin saw photographs of himself in local newspapers as part of an appeal to trace a man who launched an attack on a train guard, he gave himself up to British Transport Police.

Unwin, 26, of Powell Road, Buckley, had denied an assault charge but changed his plea yesterday.

Wyn Jones, prosecuting, told Flintshire Magistrates Court that Nathan Scrivens, 42, was a guard on the Arriva Trains Wales service from Bidston to Wrexham Central Station on August 9 last year.

Unwin and another man got on at Buckley but the defendant was clearly very drunk and became abusive when asked for his ticket.

When asked if he had a ticket or if he needed to pay Unwin told guard Mr Scrivens to indulge in a sexual act with a donkey.

Mr Scrivens decided that he was too drunk to remain on the train, spoke to the driver and it was decided that they would be asked to leave at Penyffordd station.

At the door the defendant wanted a refund, although he had not paid anything, before trying to punch Mr Scrivens.

Mr Jones said that the guard left, returned to the train door a short time later but unfortunately Unwin had re-boarded the train. He again threw punches but they were deflected.

Later interviewed, Unwin said that he was “hammered” after drinking a bottle of vodka, could not even recall getting on the train but remembered being abusive to someone.

Mr Jones said that it was an aggravating feature that it was an assault on a public servant while carrying out his duties.

Phillip Lloyd Jones, defending, said that in the old days a station master would not even have allowed Unwin into the station, never mind the train, but there was no such monitoring these days.

Unwin believed that he had acted in self-defence and had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.

But now the CCTV and Unwin’s record of interview had been made available to the defence and Unwin accepted advice and had pleaded guilty.

At the time he was exceedingly drunk and had no recollection of what had occurred, Mr Lloyd Jones said.

British Transport Police had issued a public appeal to trace the attacker.

Unwin contacted them and volunteered himself for interview after photographs of him appeared in the local press.

“He is contrite and remorseful. He apologises for his conduct, which he knows is unacceptable,” Mr Lloyd Jones explained.

“It was an impulsive reaction to being asked to leave the train while drunk.”

Fortunately, the victim, while distressed that night and unable to continue with his tour of duty, had not suffered any serious injuries.

He had continued with his work since.

Unwin had been through a relationship breakdown, was now in work and supporting his three children, and had given up drinking to excess.

Mr Lloyd Jones said that it had been pleasing to note that another young man, a member of the travelling public on the train, had helped throw his client off the train.

Magistrates said that they were glad that he had “given up the demon drink”.

Unwin was fined £100 with £250 costs and he was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the guard.

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