James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Faeces flinging football fans sentenced for 'reprehensible' train incident
24 October 2019, 15:22
Two football fans have been sentenced for defecating in a takeaway box and throwing it at train passengers following England's World Cup defeat in 2018
Swindon Magistrates Court heard that in July 2018 passengers travelling between Bath Spa to Chippenham were subjected to a traumatising series of events.
Toby Clarke, 22, and of The Old Rectory Whaddon, Hilperton and Bobby Clifford, 22, and of St Peters Close, Chippenham, both pleaded guilty to outraging public decency on February 13.
The pair were part of a larger group of 12 young men travelling from Bath Spa to Chippenham following England’s World Cup 2018 semi-final defeat to Croatia on 11 July last year.
The court heard the group were drunk and badly behaved at Bath Spa station, with one throwing a bin lid and his beer can on the track.
After getting on the train the group were seen to be drinking heavily, having loud sexually explicit conversations and crawling in the overhead carriage.
The prosecution said a female passenger who challenged their behaviour was met with a torrent of abusive language.
The incident, which lasted a period of around 20 minutes, culminated in Clarke pulling down his trousers and defecating in a takeaway box in view of other passengers.
Clifford then picked up the box containing the faeces and threw it down the carriage, causing some of the contents to land on a traumatised passenger.
Most of the group then alighted the train at Chippenham, leaving passengers horrified by the incident.
At court Clifford was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for a year. The Judge ruled he must complete 10 rehabilitation activity days and 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as paying £1,000 to the victim who was hit with the faeces, £100 to each of the three witnesses and £510 in costs.
Clarke was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 280 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £400 compensation to each of the witnesses and £510 costs.
Inspector Scott Hargreave from British Transport Police, said: “The individuals involved in this incident are very fortunate that they aren’t facing an immediate custodial sentence - their actions and behaviours were reprehensible.
“I would like to reassure the travelling public that incidents like this are rare - any incident of which we are made aware of, we will police and investigate robustly.
“I hope this sends a clear warning to everyone that this type of disgusting behaviour will not be tolerated on the railway, and these offenders will be brought before the courts.”