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Man jailed for distressing rail staff at C2C station – Essex

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David Hales

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A Southend-on-Sea man has been handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) and prison sentence, after he intentionally caused unnecessary alarm to rail staff at an Essex station. 

David Hales, aged 23 and of York Road, Southend, appeared at South Essex Magistrates’ Court on 28 May, pleading guilty to two public order offences. 

On 4 March this year, Hales approached rail staff at West Horndon station, holding a piece of glass and threatening to cut himself. Panicked rail staff then worked to calm Hales down, fearing for their own safety. 

Officers attended and initially detained Hales under section 136 of the Mental Health Act. 
After lengthy consultation with mental health professionals, it was recommended that Hales should be prosecuted as they believed he did not possess a suicidal risk and had capacity to understand the implications of his actions.

Further enquiries uncovered a history of persistent anti-social and distressing behaviour, where he would recklessly hassle staff along the C2C network. Hales was later charged with two public order offences. 

Hales was handed a three-year CBO, as well as an additional two-week prison sentence for failing to appear at court after being released on bail.

Inspector Stephen Webster, said: “Safeguarding those who are vulnerable on the rail network is always our first concern, however Hales’ persistent actions became a nuisance on the network. This prosecution was brought following lengthy engagement with mental health practitioners and we welcome the Criminal Behaviour Order and prison sentence.”

Criminal Behaviour Order made for 3 years from 28/05/2019 prohibits Hales from: 

1.       Entering any Railway Station or alighting any train within England and Wales whilst under the influence of any intoxicating substance or liquor.

2.       Going to any London Underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) or Main Line Railways premises save for the purpose of travelling: in which case he must either:

i) immediately purchase a valid ticket to travel and then travel on the next available

ii) be in possession of a valid ticket for travel, Freedom Pass or Oystercard and then travel on the next available service using this
iii) if alighting a train at station he must then leave immediately or make his way directly to a connecting service where he must abide by (i) or (ii).

3.       Calling the 999 emergency system unless his physical safety is in immediate danger or to report a crime against his self.

4.       Deliberately obstructing the free movement of any railway or its passengers in England and Wales.

5.       Trepassing on any Railway Track or entering any area on Railway Stations in England or Wales which are not open to the public.

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