Man attacked Metro ticket inspector’s home after she threw him off train

A man who started an online campaign to "sort out the metro" before targeting two of its staff members has been jailed.

Sam Miller, 23, of Caledonian Street, Hebburn, South Tyneside, was given a ten month sentence for criminal damage and witness intimidation.

Miller, who was known to Tyne and Wear Metro after previously travelling without a ticket, tracked down a staff member to her home and smashed her living room window.

In a separate incident, whilst travelling on a Metro, he intimidated another travel enforcement officer who had testified against him in the past, telling her: "If you testify against me you are my next victim."

The court heard that Miller had previously set up an online campaign to 'sort out the metro' in which aired his grievances about the service.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Miller was asked to leave a train because he did not have a ticket on October 30, 2015 and - on November 20 - the same member of staff was woken by the sound of her front window being smashed at 2.05am.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said: "She was able to see that a rock had been used to smash the living room window."

He said the incident was spoken about by staff who had an idea about who the culprit might be, and, when one employee spotted the defendant, he asked what had happened.

The court heard Miller, who pleaded guilty on the day of trial to both charges, replied: "I put her windows out."

The member of staff then asked him: "Do you not think that is a bit harsh?"

To which Miller replied: "No, she has got it in for me."

On March 3, 2016, Miller was involved in another incident concerning metro staff.

The court heard a member of staff, who was travelling home on a metro, spotted Miller getting on to her carriage.

She had an issue with him in the past for travelling without a ticket and "chose not to acknowledge his presence" by pretending to be on the phone.

He walked over to where she was sat, leaned in, and, referring to her adult daughter, said: "How's Emma?"

Referring to a previous magistrates court case in which the victim had testified against him, he added: "You have lied about me, if you testify against me you are my next target."

Mr Bunch said: "She is very, very frightened of the defendants actions and what he had said to her."

Lee Fish, defending, said the two incidents took place because the defendant believed he was being "singled out and victimised".

He added: "On both occasions he was drunk. There is no way that Mr Miller could have known that she was on the metro."

He added: "This defendant has in fact made determined efforts to sort himself out, he has got a job. This is the first time that he has been in work, he is earning a living, he is paying tax, he is contributing to society."

Miller, who was jailed in 2013 for his part in the derby day violence involving Newcastle and Sunderland fans, was given a ten month prison sentence.

Judge Robert Spragg said: "You have gone round to the victim's house and smashed the window. You have approached another member of staff who was on her way home. It was a blatant attempt to frighten and intimidate her.

"The message has to go out that this kind of offending will not be tolerated by the courts."

Miller was also given a two year behaviour order preventing him from entering metro premises.