Teenage girls ran across A14 and railway line, court hears
- Credit: Archant
Two teenagers who ran across the A14 near Bury St Edmunds have pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance.
There was widespread disruption on the A14 on July 1, 2019 after a number of drivers reported seeing two girls, both aged 15, walking on the side of the A14 shortly before 7pm.
Suffolk police responded to the reports and searched for the teenagers, concerned for their safety.
Officers conducted a rolling road block along the eastbound carriageway between junction 43 at Bury St Edmunds and junction 41 at Risby.
When the pair saw police, they ran out in front of a car and onto the central reservation before jumping over the metal barriers and running across the westbound carriageway - causing another car to brake sharply.
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Police decided to close the A14 in both directions while they tracked down the girls, who are both from Ipswich.
A dogs unit was deployed and followed the teenagers through a farming field, at which point they ran onto an adjacent train track.
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However, they had to jump into a bush when an oncoming freight train sounded its horn.
They were eventually caught by the dog handler, arrested and were taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
The court heard how the incident wasted nearly 14 hours of police time and caused long delays on both the A14 and to rail services.
An armed response unit, a dog unit, two road policing teams and four response teams attended the incident, with a total 11 police officers involved.
During interviews afterwards the pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted to dashing across the road as well as trespassing on the railway line.
They told officers they were trying to walk along the road to get back to Ipswich as they did not have enough money for the train.
The two teenagers said they were sorry for the disruption they caused admitting they had not realised the delays their actions would cause. They said they realised the offence was "serious".
Both defendants were sentenced to serve 12-month conditional discharge and will have to pay a £16 victim surcharge.
The sentence means that if neither are found guilty of another crime within a year, they will not receive any further punishment for the offence.