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A serial fire alarm activator who subjected passengers to hours of disruption on the London Underground over a two month period has been sentenced.
Jeffrey Ewohime, 33, and of Marsh Drive, Colindale, pleaded guilty to six counts of maliciously activating a fire alarm to intentionally endanger the safety of the railway at St Albans Crown Court. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker
On 14 August the judge sentenced him to 13 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Ewohime had already served seven months remanded in custody during the investigation.
He was also issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order prohibiting him from deliberately activating any fire alarm unless in a genuine emergency, or using the Underground for any purpose other than travelling.
Ewohime’s torrent of malicious activations began at South Kensington station on 4 March this year. Two fire alarms were set off on the District Line, before he moved onto the Westbound Piccadilly line and set off another fire alarm.
He struck again a week later on 11 March, doing the same at Camden Town station, causing passengers to be prevented from entering the station for several minutes.
Ewohime set off further alarms at Westminster station in March, and another at South Kensington in May.
Following a British Transport Police investigation, he was arrested and brought into custody. In his police interview, he claimed any station evacuations as a result of his malicious activations were “not his problem.”
Inspector Mullah Hoque from British Transport Police said: “This was truly mindless behaviour by an individual clearly trying to cause as much chaos and panic on the Underground as he could.
“Malicious activations like this waste the time and money of everyone, from delayed passengers to the TfL staff and BTP officers who have to respond.
“Thankfully we police a CCTV rich environment which made it easy for us to identify Ewohime and bring him before the courts.”
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing and On Street at Transport for London (TfL), said, “We welcome Mr Ewohime’s conviction. We hope it sends the clear message that we do not tolerate any behaviour on our network that deliberately misuses the resources of our staff and the emergency services, and that causes unnecessary distress and disruption for passengers.”