A TRAIN conductor had to lock himself into an office after being butted by a passenger, a court heard.

Paul Fox was at Windermere Railway Station on the night of December 23 waiting to get a train home when he became abusive towards Northern employee Darren Irving on the platform.

Fox was clearly drunk and began to threaten Mr Irving, the court was told.

As Mr Irving walked away Fox then approached him again and butted Mr Irving.

Prosecutors said Mr Irving was able to raise his hands in defence and Fox’s head made contact with his wrist.

Pam Ward, prosecuting at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court, said: “Mr Irving said as he walked past the shelter the defendant jumps up and ‘got in my face’ and said: ‘I’m going to do you.’

“Mr Irving said he thought he would carry out this threat and said he stepped back to try and create some distance between the two.

“The defendant then threw his mobile phone at the shelter and began pacing back and forth by the shelter.

“The defendant then lunged towards the train driver with his head.

“Mr Irving said: ‘I believe he was aiming to headbutt me in the face so I put my arm up and his head made contact with my wrist’.

“Mr Irving said: ‘It had that much force it pushed my hand back into my own eyes. I was momentarily stunned’.

“Mr Irving then followed a member of staff called Helen into the office as the door locks and they called the police.

“The defendant and the man he was with then jumped into a taxi and the incident came to an end.”

A member of the public told police which taxi company had been used and Fox was arrested.

In interview, the 41-year-old said he had been on a fishing trip with his friend and had drunk 12 pints of lager and a litre of rum.

The court heard Fox had a number of previous convictions but his last conviction for violence was in 2014.

Defending himself, Fox said he was ashamed of himself.

“I’ve got no excuse whatsoever,” he said. “I feel terrible; the bloke has gone to work and shouldn’t be putting up with that kind of behaviour.

“I’m ashamed of myself.”

Fox, who is employed, pleaded guilty to assault.

He was ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work. Magistrates told him the number of hours would have been 270 had he not pleaded guilty.

Magistrates also told him to pay a £90 victim surcharge, £85 court costs and £150 in compensation to Mr Irving.

They agreed Fox, of Halewood Road in Liverpool, could pay at a rate of £50 per week with the first payment due within 14 days.

After the court hearing a spokesman for Northern said: “There is never any excuse for aggression and violence towards our staff – or indeed staff from any other operator.

“We work closely with British Transport Police to deter incidents of this nature and will continue to work with them to help bring to justice those who commit violent acts.”