A trespasser who closed Leeds station for four hours and caused over £1 million of train delays has been sentenced to six months in jail at Leeds Crown Court.
On Thursday 30 May 2019, Network Rail put out a statement that stated: “Network Rail and British Transport Police have closed Leeds railway station due to a vulnerable trespasser on the railway.”
The man in question was Peter Myers, a 36-year-old with no fixed abode. He climbed onto the handrail of the high-level walkway over Platform 8 at around 07:00 and refused to come down, threatening to jump off onto the tracks below.
Network Rail shut off power to the overhead lines and closed the station with British Transport Police officers evacuating passengers so they could attempt to talk the man down.
Police finally managed to persuade Myers to return to safety at about 09:30, two and a half hours after the situation had started.
Although the station then reopened, lines had been closed for about four hours in total and there was a knock-on effect on trains throughout the area. Network Rail reported that there was a total of 319 train cancellations, 169 part-cancellations and 171 hours of rail delays, costing over £1 million.
Myers was taken into custody by police and found to have no mental issues. He also had a record of over 30 convictions for offences ranging from arson and robbery to being drunk and disorderly. He had been jailed in 2017 for false imprisonment after he barricaded himself in a house with two children.
Myers pleaded guilty to charges of “obstructing an engine or carriage by using the railway for an unlawful act”. On Friday 21 June 2019, he was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to prison for six months.
Network Rail, in a statement issued after the sentence was passed, said: “We welcome this sentence as this was an act which put his life in danger, delayed passengers and caused widespread disruption to services.”