Sunderland drunk stumbled on to Metro tracks

Mark Herron
Mark Herron
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A CHRONIC alcoholic who stumbled on to a busy Metro track was told his actions could have had “tragic consequences”.

Mark Herron, 47, was drunk when he fell onto the line at Fellgate Metro station at about 6.20pm on September 6.

Herron – who has 235 convictions for 395 previous offences on his criminal record – pleaded guilty to trespassing on railway property at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

A second charge of endangering safety by jumping onto the rail tracks was withdrawn.

Herron, of Mowbray Apartments, Sunderland, appeared in court from the custody dock as he is serving a jail term for another booze-fuelled offence.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said Herron was spotted on CCTV stumbling onto the track.

He added: “He lies there for some time before getting up and falling over again. He then climbs onto the platform. Police and the ambulance service assisted him.

“He was taken to hospital and was subsequently taken to Durham for specialist treatment. It’s fair to say that due to the time of the day, there was disruption caused to the Metro system.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He is a chronic alcoholic and has been for a number of years. He was clearly drunk and caused himself significant injury to his face and now has a permanent scar.

“He was jailed for being drunk and disorderly in May and won’t be released until July.

Michael Conroy, chairman of the magistrates, said: “You have caused disruption and could have been killed. If you must be drunk, don’t be drunk at a railway station.”

Herron was given an absolute discharge due to the fact he is in jail.

Vicki Beadle, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “This incident could have had tragic consequences. We would urge anyone who has been drinking to take extra care around the railway and to never, ever go onto the tracks.”