A MOTHER and her two children were thrown off a train at Sheffield after a row with a ticket inspector – leaving them to make their own way back to Blackpool late at night, a court heard.
Lisa Smith, aged 41, was interviewed by British Transport Police after the argument with East Midlands Trains ticket inspector Roy Howard – whom she described as ‘childish’ and a ‘pathetic little man’.
Ms Smith was prosecuted, and pleaded guilty to refusing to hand over her ticket for inspection and ‘behaving in a disorderly manner on the railway’.
But she was given an absolute discharge at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, meaning she faces no punishment.
Ms Smith and her children, aged 12 and two, were on their way back home to Lytham, Lancashire, after a family holiday in Norfolk in September.
In a written statement to the court, Ms Smith said her younger child had gone for a walk around the carriage to stretch her legs. The two-year-old tried to walk through to the next carriage while Mr Howard was keeping the doors open as he stood talking on his phone, she said.
Ms Smith asked if Mr Howard could stand on the other side of the door, to prevent her toddler from getting through.
She claims at that point he shouted: “Sit down and sort your kid out.”
In her statement she said: “I was astonished a member of staff was able to talk to a paying customer in such a way, so I asked for his name.
“Mr Howard said he was unable to give his name as it was company policy.
“I asked what right he thought he had speaking to passengers like this and he said it was ‘his train and he could talk to passengers whatever way he liked’ and he was having me removed at Sheffield.”
Ms Smith, a graduate who volunteers at her local council, claims she asked for his name again when he came to check her tickets, which in defiance she refused to produce.
Waseem Raja, prosecuting, told the bench Ms Smith verbally abused the member of staff by calling him ‘a pathetic little man’ and said she swore at him – something Ms Smith denied.
She was thrown off at Sheffield station.
After an interview with British Transport Police, Ms Smith and her two children began their journey home.
They eventually made it back to Lytham at 12.30am after delays, multiple connections, lost baggage and missed trains.
An East Midlands Trains spokeswoman said: “We can confirm there was a problem with a passenger on board one of our services earlier this year.
“We have received contact on a number of occasions from the passenger and we have responded as far as we possibly can.”