Man jailed after attacking rail staff who challenged him for fare evasion – Greater Manchester
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A man who violently attacked a member of rail staff after trying to avoid paying his train fare twice in one evening has been jailed for over two years following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
The 55-year-old victim was working on the gate line at Wigan Wallgate railway station on the day of the assault.
Michael Lucas, 32, and of Bath Street, Southport, appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court on 1 June where he pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent.
A judge at Bolton Crown Court sentenced Lucas to 28 months’ imprisonment on Monday 24 October.
On Sunday 6 February, Lucas approached gate line staff on duty a Wigan Wallgate station and asked to be let through the barriers without a ticket.
His request was denied and after a brief argument with the staff, he left the station only to return later the same evening again wishing to travel without a ticket.
CCTV footage played in court showed the moment Lucas forced himself through the ticket barriers and grabbed a member of rail staff by the throat.
He then let go of the victim and punched him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground.
After the attack he fled the station and dropped his mobile phone and driving licence as he did so. BTP officers seized his possessions, tracked him down and he was arrested three days after the assault.
The victim suffered fractures to his eye socket, cheekbone and jaw from the attack.
BTP Detective Sergeant Stephen Kite said: “This was a particularly vicious and unprovoked attack on a member of rail staff and I’m pleased Lucas has been served a lengthy spell behind bars.
“The safety of those travelling and working on the rail network is our utmost priority, and no one should be subjected to such barbaric violence for simply doing their job.
“I hope this result serves as a warning to anyone who commits a violent crime on the railway – we will catch you and bring you to justice.
“If you’re a victim of, or witness to, violence on the railway, I urge you to report it to us either by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency, always dial 999.”