‘Intoxicated’ Sunderland man delayed Metro by throwing shopping trolley onto Stadium of Light track

By Hannah Graham

A drunken Houghton-Le-Spring man held up the Metro when he pushed a shopping trolley onto the line at Sunderland's Stadium of Light station.

On April 21 last year a Metro train had to stop after hitting the trolley pushed by Martin Lewis Bryant.

On Friday, Bryant, 25, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court to throwing the shopping cart onto the tracks.

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Ian Martin, prosecuting, said: “On April 21 [2021] Mr Bryant appears to have, for reasons known probably only to himself, brought a trolley on to the platform of the Stadium of Light Metro Station and pushed it on to the tracks, leaving it there.

"One can imagine the difficulty that caused, the risk that that posed to trains and people on the trains.”

He added: “[A]t 10.50 CCTV shows [that] a train approaching the Stadium of Light does collide with the shopping trolley, that then causes the line to be blocked, it has to be removed for everyone’s safety.”

In an appeal for witnesses following the incident, British Transport Police said the Metro driver had to get out of the train cab and remove the trolley from the tracks.

Defending, Alastair Naismith, said: “Mr Bryant has learning difficulties and he doesn’t read or write, I think he would describe himself as being easily led. He was intoxicated at the time, he is an alcoholic.”

He added that Bryant had handed himself into police in May after seeing the British Transport Police’s appeal for witnesses.

Magistrates were told that there is no up-to-date guidance on sentencing for the specific offence Bryant was charged with, and advised to consult the probation service for a report ahead of sentencing.

Chair of the Bench Paul Allen told Bryant: “We do feel it is a serious offence and we do see mitigating and aggravating factors, so what we are going to do is ask for an all options report, this will be produced by probation.”

Bryant, of Brinkburn Crescent, was released on unconditional bail and ordered to appear at South Tyneside magistrates court on January 31.

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