27th Jul, 2017

Suicidal man jailed after train hold-ups cause £8,000 delays

A TOTAL of 26 trains were delayed at a cost of more than £8,000 after a man who was contemplating suicide was spotted on a Leamington railway bridge.

Jamie Considine was on the bridge for two hours, causing delays which totalled 242 minutes, before he was arrested, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.

The 23 year-old, formerly of Beauchamp Road, Kenilworth, had been jailed for 12 weeks by magistrates who also order him to pay £1,000 compensation after he had pleaded guilty to obstructing the railway.

And Judge Andrew Lockhart QC, sitting with a magistrate, rejected an appeal by Considine, recently of Centenary Road, Coventry, against his sentence.

Prosecutor Jamie Scott said that at 12.30pm on February 17 the police were informed of a man dangling his legs over the railway bridge in Rugby Road, Leamington.

Network Rail was contacted and stopped trains passing along that stretch of track, and the police set up a cordon below the bridge as Considine leaned over the metal barrier.

Police negotiators were quickly on the scene, but he was uncooperative with them. He was finally arrested after spending two hours on the bridge.

Considine was taken to University Hospital in Coventry, where doctors assessed him and concluded that he was not suffering from and mental illness, and that his behaviour had been induced by drink and drugs.

When he was then interviewed, he said he was depressed because he had recently become unemployed and his father was dying, and he was feeling suicidal and had taken an overdose of pain killers.

He explained his intention had been to hang himself from the bridge, but that once he was there he had decided to jump instead – but that his body would not move.

Considine said he had not considered the inconvenience he would cause, and apologised when he was told of the disruption his actions had caused.

Mr Scott explained that 26 trains were delayed for a total of 242 minutes, at a cost to Network Rail of £8,120.

He added at the time Considine, who had ten previous convictions for 23 offences, was on licence from a sentence of three years and four months imposed in 2015 for burglaries.

Considine, conducting his own appeal from the dock, said: “I wasn’t on the railway track, I was beside the track.  I wasn’t anywhere near the track.  I was on the bridge to the side of it.

“I wasn’t intending to cause harm to the railway line itself, just to get past there to where I wanted to jump.  It wouldn’t have affected anyone if I’d jumped there.

“I didn’t cause any intentional trouble to anyone. I’m sorry it caused the obstruction,” he said, adding that he had since been to see his doctor and was now on medication.

But rejecting his appeal and upholding the magistrates’ sentence, Judge Lockhart said: “This offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified. Twelve weeks was entirely justifiable.”

The judge observed: “That is a busy railway line that carried fast-moving trains.  As a result, quite rightly, National Rail took the view that all railway traffic should be stopped.

“It took two hours for Mr Considine to be talked down.  He said he was suffering because his father had died, and he had recently been taking drink and drugs.

“The inconvenience was considerable.  He has said he did not deliberately intend to cause inconvenience.  But the simple fact is that this man has pleaded guilty to a serious matter of obstructing an engine using a railway line.”