Man jumped from moving train then ran into the sea

Haddington Sheriff Court. Picture: Rob McDougall
Haddington Sheriff Court. Picture: Rob McDougall
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A MAN terrified fellow train passengers when he smashed a carriage window with a fire extinguisher – before leaping out on to the track as the train sped along at 50mph.

Richard Critchlow jumped out of the smashed window and landed on the track, and then led several police officers on a chase along a nearby beach that ended with him jumping into the sea in a bid to escape his pursuers.

Critchlow had made his way to the First Class compartment of the 8.05pm Edinburgh Waverley to Newcastle train when he suddenly “became agitated and began banging on panels and units containing train safety equipment”.

Passengers were then forced to flee the carriage as Critchlow grabbed a fire extinguisher and launched it through the window, showering the inside of the coach with glass.

As the speeding train then approached Dunbar station, the train slowed to “approximately 50mph” and Critchlow climbed out of the window and dropped on to the ground.

The train was forced to stop at the station for a short time before eventually going on to complete its journey.

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old was then spotted running along the track before being lost to sight.

A manhunt was sparked and police officers eventually caught up with him on a beach near to Dunbar.

Critchlow, who is from London but of no fixed abode, attempted to evade capture by jumping into the freezing Firth of Forth before being collared and dragged back to shore.

Critchlow pleaded guilty to conducting himself in a disorderly manner by repeatedly banging on interior fittings of railway carriage, and repeatedly striking and smashing a window with a fire extinguisher causing glass to shower the interior of the carriage.

He also admitted to jumping out of the moving train, all to the fear of passengers and staff on board the train, and committing a breach of the peace on July 17.

He also admitted to running along rail lines near to Dunbar, on to a beach and attempting to evade pursuing police by running into the sea in an attempt to avoid prosecution for the above offences with an attempt to pervert the course of justice when he appeared from custody at Haddington Sheriff Court.

The court was told following the terrifying incident that Critchlow had to be taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary suffering from “cuts, bruises and cold body temperature”.

Solicitor Angela Craig said her client had “no connection with Scotland” and following a couple of weeks’ work with a roofing firm in the Lothian area he was trying to make his way back to London.

Ms Craig added: “He isn’t really clear where he was going. He was living a rather aimless existence and still remains homeless.

“He has no money and no savings, and he has no explanation why he was on the train.”

Sheriff Peter Braid said the offences were “extremely serious” and sentenced Critchlow to nine months in prison.

Sheriff Braid added: “This must have been extremely alarming to those on the train, and it is hard to imagine anything more alarming.”