Drunk and violent South Tyneside woman attacked Metro staff after she tried to climb into the driver’s cab

A drunken and violent South Tyneside woman tried to board a Metro train she was barred from being on by climbing through the driver’s cab window, a court heard.

Caitlin Bennett, 24, was part-way inside when dragged away by transport staff who she then assaulted and warned, “My dad will hunt you down – and kill you”.

Bennett, of Alnwick Road, Tyne Dock, shouted the threat while making a gun gesture during a moment of shame at Fellgate station at around 6pm on Saturday, August 13.

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She had tried to get onto a train packed with Sunderland football fans after a home match but was stopped by personnel who saw her hitting its windows with her shoes.

Caitlin Bennett attacked staff at Fellgate Metro Station.Caitlin Bennett attacked staff at Fellgate Metro Station.
Caitlin Bennett attacked staff at Fellgate Metro Station.

Prosecutor Stephanie Cook said it was then Bennett made her bid to clamber into the cab – and she also had to be restrained after walking onto tracks.

Bennett, who has no previous convictions, sobbed throughout a court appearance, at which she was ordered to pay compensation to her male and female assault victims.

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Ms Cook told borough magistrates: “Two Metro services team members were on a train which pulled into Fellgate, after leaving the Stadium of Light.

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“They saw a female banging her sandals off the train as it pulled in. She tried to board but was refused because of her level of intoxication.

“She began to shout at the female Metro worker. She walked towards the front of the train, still banging her sandals off every window.

“She then tried to climb into the driver’s cab window. She was half in the window and was physically removed, and she then began to leave the station.

“The defendant was on the stairs and lashed out, hitting both staff members. She has then walked off the platform and onto the tracks.

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“She attempted to barge her way past the staff, and said, ‘My dad will hunt you down and kill you’. She made a gun sign.

“There was a scuffle on the stairs, and she has punched the male three times to his chest and once to the groin, causing soreness.

“Officers from British Transport Police arrested her. She made full admissions and said she had consumed a large amount of alcohol. She’s of previous good character.”

Bennett pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating and one each of making threats with intent to cause or bring fear of unlawful violence and trespass on railway property.

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Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said a pre-sentence report into Bennett’s offending revealed she had suffered a troubled background.

He added: “Some people have blissful childhoods, and some don’t. There is genuine remorse.

“She appreciates that she behaved very badly on that day, but you’d have to have a heart of stone to not see the issues she’s had to deal with and turn away without giving her support.”

Magistrates told Bennett she must pay £75 compensation to each staff member and they also sentenced her to a 12-month community order, with 20 rehabilitation days.

There were no court costs.

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