A MAN who strayed onto a rail track at Sandycroft because he wanted to “walk to Chester” was close to being hit by several trains, a court heard.

Kieran Everard, 22, appeared before North East Wales Magistrates’ Court where he admitted obstructing an engine using the railway by an unlawful act on October 7.

He claimed he was escaping from a gang of youths and thought the quickest way to get to Chester was by walking alongside the rail track.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said Everard got onto the track by climbing over a palisade and a fence.

“He was nearly hit by a train on several occasions,” she said. “They all slowed down substantially as a result of his presence on the tracks.

“He was arrested and told police he wanted to go to Chester, but he didn’t know the way. He said the rail tracks led to Chester and decided to go that way.

“He should not have been there. It was a stupid thing to do.”

Everard’s actions caused a 41-minute delay to rail services and a loss of £1,259 to rail operators.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said the defendant suffered from mental health issues and had been sectioned last year.

“He has been medicated, but stopped taking it just before this offence,” said the solicitor.

“He has got accommodation in Prestatyn but his roots are in Deeside which is why he was in the area.

“He is not sure whether he suffered a psychotic episode. He was being chased by a group of youths and he thought he would be safer to walk on the track to get away to Chester.

“He is a troubled young man. He is very, very lucky that he didn’t lose his life, but I don’t think he was intending to harm himself, he just wasn’t thinking straight.”

District Judge Gwyn Jones fined Everard, of Adele Avenue, Prestatyn £200 and told him: “You placed yourself in an extremely perilous position and caused problems for the members of staff of the train operating companies.

“But I am advised this was a one-off incident.”

The district judge did not award any compensation but told Everard to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.