Jail for vandal who caused train chaos for FA Cup final fans

Malicious letters detailing allegations against man being sent to homes in Portsmouth

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A MAN who caused travel chaos for Pompey fans on FA Cup Final day by pushing a wheelie bin on to train tracks has been jailed.

Jacob Kirby had been drinking and smoking cannabis when he shoved the large metal bin onto the line at Liss Station.

Jason Kirby

Jason Kirby

Four minutes later a freight train hit the bin at 55 mph, coming to a halt about a mile-and-a-half down the tracks.

No-one was hurt in the incident which happened at 1.40am on May 15 last year.

But the line was shut for more than seven hours while workers tried to fix the tracks.

The incident caused delays for thousands of Pompey fans travelling by rail to London for the club’s FA Cup Final clash at Wembley against Chelsea.

The cost of the damage and refunding tickets was about £25,000, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Kirby, of Station Road, Liss, admitted endangering public safety but said he didn’t intend for the bin to fall on the line.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, said: ‘He did not intend the wheelie bin to fall on the line but accepts that he was reckless as to this outcome.’

Kirby, 21, who has 11 previous convictions for 21 offences – including criminal damage – was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

Judge Guy Boney, QC, said: ‘I’m told that had this been a passenger train, which is lighter than a fully-laden goods train, there was a chance of it being derailed.

‘The consequences of a crash at that kind of speed don’t bear thinking about.

‘You could easily have been responsible, had it not been a goods train, for a significant risk to life.

‘People who travel in trains are vulnerable to the actions of people who do this kind of thing.

‘My first duty has to be the protection of the public. Part of that duty has to be passing a deterrent sentence.’

Detective Constable Phil Bibbings, from the British Transport Police, said: ‘Thankfully this time, through sheer luck, no-one was injured. The train was undamaged and it remained on the tracks, but we may not be so fortunate if this happens again.’

Ashley Keatings, 20, of Hazelbank Close, in Liphook, also admitted a charge of endangering public safety. His case was adjourned for sentencing on March 25. He was remanded in custody.