A north-east passenger who forced the cancellation of a London-bound train after becoming abusive towards a ticket collector, calling her a “jobsworth b****”, has been ordered to pay his victim £1,000 compensation.
Richard Evans’ level of abuse towards the female manager on the Aberdeen to King’s Cross service was so distressing she couldn’t continue her work beyond Dundee, and dozens of passengers were affected after the staff shortage led to the train being terminated.
His conduct was branded “appalling” by a sheriff, who also fined Evans £750 following his barrage of abuse on the east coast LNER service last July.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard Evans, of Elrick, had boarded the 10.10am service in the Granite City and produced a ticket on his mobile phone when the female conductor passed through the carriage around half an hour into the journey.
He was then required to produce a rail card to support the discount on his ticket and immediately became argumentative with the staff member, accusing her of embarrassing him in front of fellow passengers.
Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery said the collector walked away to prevent an escalation of the incident, but Evans was repeatedly abusive towards the woman.
Another staff member also put herself between the train manager and the accused in a bid to calm the situation.
Evans was put off the train at Arbroath and responded by shouting in the face of his victim: “Get the police, I don’t care you f****** jobsworth b****, power’s gone to your head.”
The depute fiscal added: “Due to the level of abuse the complainer received, she felt she was unable to continue her duties and the train was terminated at Dundee, leading to the service being cancelled all the way down the east coast main line to King’s Cross.”
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Evans’ solicitor Billy Rennie said: “He accepts his aggressive manner and that he swore as he left the train.
“The general flavour of this is that it arose from a situation which he felt demeans him in view of other people.
“He’s become frustrated and embarrassed when questioned about his conduct. His honesty, he felt, was being called into question.”
Sheriff Derek Reekie told Evans, who admitted behaving in an aggressive manner on the train between Montrose and Arbroath on July 11 last year: “Your behaviour was appalling.
“Whatever your frustration, you went way beyond reason – it was offensive and totally unacceptable.
“Anyone who witnesses an incident such as this on a train knows it is a highly distressing situation in a confined space, as this would have been for everyone, particularly the conductors.
“The main person to suffer was the poor member of railway staff and she deserves to be compensated.”