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Community order for intoxicated man who risked his life – Harlow, Essex

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A man who narrowly escaped death, after he drunkenly lay between the tracks as a train passed over, has this week been sentenced. 

At Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday 19 February, Derek Acton of Pinner Road, Harlow was handed a twelve month community order, a 60 day alcohol abstinence requirement and a £570 fine. 

At approximately 7.40pm on Saturday 28 October, the 44-year-old was at Harlow Mill station stumbling on the platform in an intoxicated manner. A short while later he decided to climb down from the platform and lay between the tracks. 

Moments after this, a Greater Anglia train passed over him at speed. Acton then climbed back onto the platform. 

Paramedics and police were quickly at  the scene and Acton was checked over for any injuries but was unharmed. His actions cost Network Rail an estimated £11,700 in delay compensation.

Acton was charge with one count of railway obstruction.  

Inspector Steve Webster from BTP, said: “Quite frankly, Acton is lucky to be alive. In his intoxicated state, he climbed down onto the tracks and lay in the path of a fast approaching train. His actions were baffling. 

“I hope Acton sticks to his community order and the alcohol abstinence requirement. Hopefully he will steer clear of the tracks and avoid being involved in another near miss.

“The railway is an extremely dangerous place to trespass. Every year my officers are called to tragic incidents where someone has died or seriously injured as a result of being hit by a train. Please remember to stay off the tracks and away from danger.” 

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