A MAN who beat up a railway conductor after being thrown off a train at Oxenhome for having no ticket has been sent to prison for 16 months.
Reece Bellas, 23, of Borland Avenue, Carlisle, was on an early morning London-Glasgow train on August 9 when the Asian inspector found he had no ticket, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
At first Bellas claimed he had a ticket but had lost it, then, when the inspector told him he would have to buy another one, he locked himself in a lavatory saying he had been taken ill.
Prosecuting counsel Keith Sutton told the court that when the inspector told him to get off the train when it stopped at Oxenholme station Bellas became aggressive and abusive, shouting racist insults.
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Once on the platform, he said, Bellas turned and knocked the inspector down with punches and a headbutt before carrying on the attack by punching and kicking him as he lay on the ground.
The inspector suffered cuts and grazes and was too badly hurt to finish his shift.
The train had to be taken out of service because it was deemed to be a crime scene, Mr Sutton said.
Bellas managed to get away from the station, but he was arrested when he returned – still with blood on his hands – to catch another train an hour later.
Bellas, who had 46 previous convictions including one for beating up a takeaway worker for being Polish, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault.
In mitigation defence barrister Elizabeth Muir admitted: “Quite frankly, as he himself well knows, there are absolutely no mitigating factors in this case. He knows he is fortunate that the conductor did not receive injuries which were more serious than they were.”
Ms Muir said it was disappointing that the incident had come at a time when Bellas seemed to be doing well.
“He feels he has let himself down terribly,” she said. “For the first time in his life he appeared to be trying to make something of himself.