Man jailed for station racist abuse and stabbing threat

5:35pm Monday 18th March 2013

A MAN racially abused and assaulted a ticket inspector at Southampton Central Railway Station before threatening to stab a taxi driver who refused to drive him away from the scene, a court heard.

Gary Saunders, 53, who is already serving time behind bars for a previous offence, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to six weeks in jail by Southampton magistrates.

The court was told he had impatiently pushed through turnstiles on Thursday, February 21, after queueing behind a woman who was having trouble putting her ticket through.

When an employee called him back Saunders shouted: “Don’t tell me what to do, I live here. Do you want me to bash your head in? Go back to your own country.”

The court heard how Saunders grabbed a ticket inspector’s arm, pinned it to the wall and caused him to drop his radio when he tried to call his boss for help.

Saunders left the station and got into a taxi, telling the driver to “hurry up” and explaining what happened. But when the terrified cabbie told him to get out at nearby Toys R Us, Saunders began verbally abusing him and threatening to stab him.

The court heard how Saunders only left the car after the cabbie drove to a nearby police station and sounded his horn.

Saunders had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assault and using threatening, abusive and racially aggravated behaviour.

Sarah Barnard, for Saunders, said her client had initially returned to the station to apologise to the employee.

She added: “He did come back to try and do the right thing and the ticket inspector went down another route. He accepts he lost his temper. He’s a big man and he’s been in trouble before.”

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