Man who pushed trolley onto Metro tracks at Sunderland's Stadium of Light station prosecuted for Victorian 'hard labour' offence

A shopping trolley pushed onto Metro tracks by an alcoholic lodged under a moving late-night train, a court heard.

By Gareth Crickmer
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 10:37 am

Drunken Martin Bryant’s dangerous antics at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light station forced the driver to get out and dislodge it.

No passengers are believed to have been injured due to his mindless act at 10.30pm on Wednesday, April 21.

But Bryant, 25, of Brinkburn Crescent, Burnside, Houghton, was captured committing the offence on CCTV.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The shopping trolley became lodged under the Metro train, forcing the driver to get out and remove it.

He turned himself in to police after he heard they had launched a public appeal to catch the culprit

And he may be jailed after he admitted his guilt and magistrates in South Tyneside ordered an all-options pre-sentence report.

Prosecutor Ian Martin said: “Mr Bryant appears to have, for a reason known only to himself, brought a trolley and pushed it onto tracks, leaving it there.

“One can immediately see the difficulties that this would cause and the risk that this posed to trains and people in trains.

“At 10.50pm there is CCTV which shows a train approaching the station and it collides with the shopping trolley.

“That does cause the line to be blocked. There was certainly a train collide with.”

Bryant was prosecuted under the Victorian-era Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which carries a sentence of up to two years’ hard labour.

But Bryant, who pleaded guilty to doing or emitting something to endanger railway passengers, is more likely to be imprisoned than be ordered to put his nose to the grindstone, his solicitor said.

Alaister Naismith, defending, added: “You have an old offence that is still in place which can lead to hard labour, though I don’t think that you’ll go down that route.

“Mr Bryant has learning difficulties. He doesn’t read or write and is easily led. He was intoxicated, he is an alcoholic.

“He did take himself to a police station when he knew that the police were looking for him.

“The driver is the one who removed it from the line. It may be that it bumped the train but didn’t go under it.”

Bryant was granted unconditional bail to be sentenced at the same court on Monday, January 31.

Support our journalism and subscribe to this website to enjoy unlimited access to news, sport, retro, daily puzzles and more online.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu to find out more and sign up.