Grantham court: Train passenger failed to pay and spat at inspector

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After taking a train journey without paying and spitting on a ticket inspector, a deaf man appeared before magistrates with the aid of a sign language interpreter.

Rhys Morgan, 20, of Harrow Road, London, got into the altercation with the train guard while travelling through Grantham on May 3.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, described how Morgan could not produce a valid ticket when approached on the Virgin East Coast train, and told the guard he did not have any money.

By writing it down on paper, the inspector told Morgan he would have to get off at the next station, but instead he went and hid in the toilet.

Morgan was told to get off the train at Grantham, but as he did so he stepped back to face the ticket inspector and spat into his face.

He was then arrested and taken to Grantham police station.

Stuart Wild, defending, said that his client showed genuine remorse during his interview with police and wished to apologise in person to the guard.

Mr Wild explained that on the previous day Morgan had meant to be travelling from his home in London to meet up with friends in Peterborough, but plans changed at the last minute and he ended up in Doncaster.

Despite efforts to explain to train staff at Doncaster on his return the next day that he did not have a ticket, Morgan said he was ushered through the barrier and consequently ended up on the train home without having paid the £43.20 required or having it on him.

On being approached by the ticket inspector, ‘it became quite heated because of a lack of communication’ explained Mr Wild, who added: “The red mist then descended.”

Morgan received a conditional discharge lasting 12 months, and was ordered to pay the price of the ticket, £50 compensation to the train inspector, and a £150 criminal court charge.