Yob smashed life-saving fire kit at Sunderland station

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A RAILWAY thug smashed a “critical piece” of safety equipment at Sunderland Station, potentially putting lives at risk a court was told.

Crystan Wilson wrecked the dry-riser, which is used by fire crews to gain access to water in the event of a blaze, causing £178 of damage, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The 21-year-old, who is back behind bars after being recalled to serve the remainder of a burglary sentence, managed to clock up three offences on three separate occasions at the city’s train station in October, including one of trespassing on the tracks,

Wilson, whose address was given in court as HMP Durham, started his crime spree on October 1, when he lost his temper during an argument with his girlfriend, prosecutor Jeanette Smith said.

“The most serious matter is the damage to the dry riser,” Mrs Smith told the court. “The aggravating factor is that it is there to enable the fire service to access water quickly to put out a fire.

“It is described as a critical piece of firefighting equipment and needs to be at the highest level of working order.”

Wilson was seen on CCTV arriving at the station on the Tuesday evening with a female, before kicking out at the dry riser, causing the cover to crack before collapsing in on itself.

When showed the footage, Wilson told officers he had lost his temper while arguing with his girlfriend. He later pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Just over a fortnight later, on October 16, Wilson was back at the station, and CCTV footage showed him go down on to the tracks. He pleaded guilty to trespassing on the railway.

He also admitted behaving in an offensive manner on the railway. The offence was committed just a week later, on October 23, when he was asked to leave the station, after being seen loitering with two others without a ticket. He swore twice at the staff member, who felt compelled to apologise to passers-by.

Willie Johnstone, defending, said: “This was obviously unacceptable behaviour, and Crystan Wilson realises that.

“Perhaps the most serious was the trespass incident. He says one of his friends had taken his necklace off and thrown it on to the railway track, and he went down to retrieve it.

“It’s just not acceptable. Not only did he put his own life in jeopardy, but he put members of the public in danger also.

“The common thread seems to be an alcohol problem. While he was in young offenders’ he took part in a course to address his drinking. Unfortunately, he turned 21 and that’s why he is in Durham Prison. He is not going to be released from custody for another five months.”

Magistrates sentenced Wilson to an 18-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay £178.60 in compensation to Northern Rail when he is released from prison on May 29