December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A tourist who disrupted the journeys of 40,000 passengers in a seven-hour railway rooftop stand-off was today jailed for 16 months.
Mantas Badauskas cost rail operator Greater Anglia an estimated £1million when he climbed on to the roof at Ipswich railway station and refused to come down.
During his sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court this afternoon, Judge John Devaux described Badauskas’s actions as absurd and self-indulgent.
The 26-year-old claimed he was anxious to return to Lithuania after a week in England but had lost all his belongings.
He attempted to use an Oyster Card at Ipswich railway station, believing the town was part of Greater London.
However, he was told he must pay for his ticket to Stansted airport and became increasingly desperate.
Badauskas claimed he climbed on to the roof so he could get better visability, the court was told.
His actions set off a chain of events which led to the rail lines being shut down.
Badauskas was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court this afternoon after previously pleading guilty to obstruction without intent.
Judge Devaux told him: “It was attention-seeking and utterly self-indulgent.”
The incident, which began at just after 8am on July 19, caused 79 trains to be delayed or cancelled.
Police were called and at one stage Badauskas told them he would jump if they came near him.
He remained there for nearly seven hours in the sun, refusing all requests to get off the roof.
Police, firefighters and paramedics were in attendance. However, officers were concerned the glass and asbestos canopy was not strong enough to support Badauskas’s weight.
He was also close to 25,000 volt power cables, which were subsequently switched off.
Around 750 passengers were confined to three trains without power or air conditioning as a result.
At one stage Badauskas was said to have thrown bolts at police negotiators.
Despite further attempts to get Badauskas off the roof, he remained there until 3.10pm when he finally climbed down.
Badauskas was taken to hospital to be treated for the effects of dehydration.
Greater Anglia estimated 40,000 passengers were stranded at stations during the incident, which cost the company in excess of £1m.