Hefty fine for sailor after row on train leads to bomb alert

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A SAILOR who sparked a bomb alert at a train station has received a large fine.

Armed officers were called in as the train was forced to stop at Havant amid reports of a bomb.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard Elizabeth Hodgson, who was then 18, thought she heard Daniel Gatt say he was ‘going to blow this train up in 10 minutes’.

Gatt, 27, who denies ever saying he had a bomb, then subjected the teenager to a tirade of abuse after she reported it to the guard.

The court heard Gatt took a photograph of Miss Hodgson and made aggressive threats while they were travelling on the Southampton to London Victoria train.

Gatt, a yachtsman from Malta, had been drinking after finding out he had passed his exams at the sailing academy in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Gatt pleaded guilty to causing harassment, alarm or distress.

He was arrested after the incident on January 26, but no further action was taken about the alleged bomb hoax.

Nick Hoyle, reading the victim’s statement, said the teenager was petrified by what she believed she heard as Gatt chatted on his mobile phone.

The statement said: ‘I heard him say I’m going to blow this train up in 10 minutes.

‘I heard another male saying “I wouldn’t talk like that”.’

Miss Hodgson said she heard Gatt say: ‘I may need help with this bomb as it’s really heavy.’

Mr Hoyle said: ‘She felt like crying. She sent a text to her mum saying “What should I do?”’

After reporting it to the guard, Gatt approached Miss Hodgson and started shouting, despite other passengers asking him to stop.

At one point a man stood in the aisle to stop Gatt approaching the teenager.

‘I was so shocked and scared my voice started to tremble,’ she said.

‘I remember him swearing, slurring his words, saying he would take me to court.

‘He said something like “I will annihilate her”.’

Hannah Jones, defending Gatt, said he deeply regretted his behaviour towards Ms Hodgson, who lives in France.

Marian Lord, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said: ‘We can fully understand why it was terrifying for your victim.

‘She was aged only 18. Sitting there minding her own business on public transport, nobody deserves to be treated like that.’

Gatt was ordered to pay a £675 fine, £250 compensation, £350 in costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.

‘That was an expensive day,’ added Mrs Lord.