A DRUNKEN yob who punched a Metro ticket inspector and a passenger after being asked to get off a train at a South Tyneside station has been jailed for eight weeks.
Lee Lamb didn’t have a ticket, and Nexus staff asked him to get off the Metro service at Brockley Whins, South Shields.
When the 22-year-old refused, the Metro driver called the police and said he would remain at the station until officers arrived.
After hearing the driver’s announcement, a passenger approached Lamb and asked him to get off the train so fellow commuters could continue their journey.
But Lamb responded by throwing a punch at the man, hitting him in the right eye and breaking his glasses, while a ticket inspector was hit on the shoulder by the same blow.
The incident took place at about 9.15pm on March 13 on a Metro service bound for Sunderland.
Lamb pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at a previous hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, and was back at court yesterday to be sentenced.
At the previous hearing, a statement was read from the inspector explaining how the assault had made him feel unsafe at work, and wary when approaching passengers to check on their tickets.
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said at the earlier court hearing: “The inspectors got on at Central Station, Lamb didn’t have a ticket and was asked to get off.
“He refused, and when they got to Brockley Whins the first victim went over and told him to leave so everyone else could go home.
“Lamb went towards him and one of the inspectors tried to get in between them.
“Lamb threw a punch at the man’s face and hit the inspector on her shoulder in the process.”
Charles Wiedner, defending, said at the previous hearing: “He explained he had been drinking, and if he hadn’t been drunk, he probably wouldn’t have acted in the way he did.”
Lamb, of Chandos Street, Gateshead, was jailed for eight weeks for each assault, with the sentences to run concurrently.
A spokesman from British Transport Police (BTP) said later: “BTP have a zero tolerance approach to assaults against rail staff and passengers. Lamb’s behaviour towards the passenger and the Nexus ticket inspector was unprovoked, violent and totally unacceptable.
“The member of rail staff who stepped in and was assaulted was left extremely shaken.
“No one should have to endure such an attack when they are carrying out their job – especially when putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.”