Frustrated rail passenger successfully overturns conviction

TRIP: A Virgin train
TRIP: A Virgin train
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A man who was convicted of threatening behaviour after a journey in which two suicides delayed railway passengers has won a court appeal.

Kyle Taylor, 23, of School Lane, Bamber Bridge, was convicted of threatening behaviour towards Heather Taylor, a member of Virgin staff, during the delayed journey on July 23 last year, following a trial.

At Preston’s Sessions House Court he successfully appealed the conviction - but despite this, the court allowed a restraining order to remain in place.

The West Coast Euston to Preston service was delayed and diverted by two fatalities, meaning it arrived at Preston at 2.15am the next day.

A previous hearing was told Mr Taylor followed the employee to the catering carriage and accused her of being racist, after staff had started handing out free refreshments.

Defending, Frederick Powell said the evidence of train manager Keith Catterall was at odds with her evidence.

Judge Graham Knowles said: “It contradicts the evidence that he was accusing her of being racist. The evidence of Mr Catterall was the appellant was attempting to berate her for a lack of service. His view was he seemed to be a busybody.

“We do not doubt her honesty or that she was trying the best to tell us the truth, but we are left in a state of doubt in that we cannot be sure at any time the appellant’s behaviour crossed the line from tiresome and unnecessary to criminal.

“We wish only to add we do not find she was racist.

“He is a man with an unusual approach to life, an unusual approach to trains.”

The judge added there was a “high risk” of trouble amounting to possible harassment in future.