Prison for man who knocked Tube driver unconscious

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A man who punched a Tube driver in the face, leaving him unconscious on the platform at Barking station, has been jailed for 23 months.

Charlie Davies, of Heathway, Dagenham, was identified following a public appeal for information by British Transport Police (BTP).

Davies pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 23 January.

Lee Clements, also known as Lee Kelly, pleaded guilty to common assault for his part in the attack at an earlier hearing and was given a 12-month community order.

A third man, Steven Wray, was fined £660 for holding the train doors open which led to the driver being assaulted.

The three men boarded a District line train in the early hours of Sunday 24 April 2011 after drinking locally with one of their friends, who had wanted to go home.

The men were ‘trying to coax their friend off the train and were holding the door open, preventing the train from continuing its journey’.

Despite the driver, aged 36, making an announcement over the PA system for the men to stop holding the doors, he was ignored and left his cab to investigate.

He approached the group and tried to get them to board the train. However, as he made his way back to his cab he was hit over the head by Clements before Davies punched him hard in the face, knocking him to the floor. The three men then fled the station.

The driver was taken to hospital by ambulance and suffered severe bruising to his face and lost a tooth.

British Transport Police (BTP) Detective Constable Steve Ajayi, the investigating officer from BTP’s specialist Workplace Violence Unit, said:

“Officers immediately searched the area around the station but the men could not be found.

“We downloaded good quality CCTV footage and circulated images of those involved on police intelligence systems but were unable to identify Davies, Clements and Wray.

“An appeal in the local papers and on Crimewatch was more successful and we were able to piece together information provided by the public to identify the offenders and make the arrests.

“This was a violent attack on the driver who was merely trying to get the Tube train moving and his passengers home on Easter Sunday.

“Although the driver was fortunate not to have suffered more serious injuries he was understandably left very shaken by what happened that night.

“A number of passengers on board the train were left distressed after witnessing the attack and being unable to help the unconscious driver as the doors had closed.

“I would like to thank the members of public who came forward with vital information following the public appeal.”

Nigel Holness, Network Services Director for London Underground said:

“Any assault on a member of staff, especially a violent one, is treated with the utmost seriousness by London Underground and we are pleased that Davies is now serving time in jail for his actions.

“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in British Transport Police to ensure that anyone who assaults our staff or customers using our services are swiftly brought to justice and face the sternest possible penalties.”

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