A man who assaulted a 15-year-old boy on a Hexham-bound train in an alcohol fuelled rage has been jailed for 17 weeks, following a British Transport Police investigation.
Brian Michael Earl, aged 41, of Beverley Rise, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to assault and a public order offence at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 16.
The court heard how the victim was returning from a day out with his father and two of his father’s friends on Saturday, November 23 last year, when a heavily intoxicated Earl boarded the train at Newcastle.
Witnesses recall how Earl was immediately loud and disruptive, repeatedly banging on the train windows, approaching strangers for drugs and verbally abusing a female passenger.
Despite repeated appeals from passengers to calm down, Earl became embroiled in a drunken dispute with one of his own party, who he punched several times, drawing blood.
His 15 year old victim, who was returning from the toilet, shouted at Earl to stop, to try to protect his father’s friend who had stepped in to stop the fight.
Earl turned around and punched the 15 year old directly in the face, splitting his lip.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Graham Marshall said: “This was a completely unprovoked and nasty attack on a frightened young boy who was simply trying to defend his father’s friend; another innocent bystander whose journey was marred by Earl being unable to handle his drink.
“Everyone has the right to travel without fear for their safety – Earl’s behaviour was terrifying and the fallout from his drinking binge was felt by everyone in that train carriage. It’s hoped that a 17 week sentence will give him time to contemplate his actions and his destructive drinking habits.”