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Man sentenced for climbing over level crossing barriers with bike – North Sheen, Richmond

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North Sheen level crossing

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A man has been sentenced for serious railway obstruction offences after climbing over a level crossing barrier with his bike as a train was approaching.

George Caraska, aged 49, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one count of disobeying a safety notice or sign and one count of obstructing an engine / carriage using the railway by an unlawful act / wilful omission / neglect.

He was summoned via postal requisition to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 9 October last year but failed to appear.
 
He was subsequently arrested and appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (30 January) via video link, and was convicted and sentenced.

On 29 July last year at North Sheen level crossing in Richmond, London, Caraska lifted his bike over the barriers of the crossing which were down.

He then managed to squeeze through the gap in the barriers onto the tracks. He proceeded to attempt to mount his bike and ride over the tracks, but moments later a train approached and drove past him, narrowly avoiding hitting him.

Caraska angrily gestured at the train as it went past.

Today Caraska was ordered to pay fines and a victim surcharge, totalling £130.

ACC Robin Smith said: “This has to rank as one of the most stupid, arrogant and dangerous things I’ve seen in my entire police service.

 “Fortunately, Caraska was caught on camera and widely shared on social media by members of the public who were as horrified by his actions as we were. Disobeying a safety notice on the railway and obstructing a train is a serious matter and could have resulted in death or injury to the train driver, passengers, Caraska himself and massive disruption and cost to the rail network. Not forgetting of course it would be left to my staff and busy emergency services to deal with the aftermath.

 “I’m really pleased BTP officers have put this man before the courts. Their tenacity shows we are, and always will be, relentless in tracking down anyone who puts public safety at risk.

 “Notices and barriers are there for a reason and anyone with a molecule of common sense knows that. Regrettably in Caraska’s case, common sense isn’t all that common.”

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