Police have issued “a stark warning” that violence on railway property will not be tolerated after a 22-year-old man was jailed for beating a passenger with an axe handle in a station ticket office.
Usman Sultan was locked up for 16 months last Friday for repeatedly whacking the man with the weapon at Keighley Railway Station on January 22.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Sultan pursued Hasan Mumtaz on to the station at 9.20am armed with the wooden axe handle and attacked him in front of members of the public, including a mother with a young child in a pram who fled the scene in terror.
Sultan, of Lawkholme Lane, Keighley, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Mumtaz actual bodily harm in an assault labelled “mindless violence” by Judge John Potter.
After the case, PC Katherine Purcell, the investigating officer with British Transport Police, told the Telegraph & Argus: “This was a sustained attack which left the victim with nasty injuries and we hope the sentence will serve as a stark warning that this type of behaviour is simply not acceptable.
“British Transport Police does not tolerate violent assaults of any kind on the railway network and will fully investigate all reports we receive.
“Everyone has the right to travel without the fear of violence and we will continue to pursue offenders and deal with them accordingly.”
Sultan pleaded guilty to the offence at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court but was committed to the higher court for sentence. He already had convictions for affray and using threatening behaviour.
The Crown Court was told that Sultan and Mr Mumtaz spat at one another in the street after Sultan pulled up in his red Audi S3 as Mr Mumtaz walked towards the railway station to take a train to Leeds.
He had bought his ticket when he saw Sultan, wearing a hooded top, approaching him in the booking office carrying the axe handle.
Mr Mumtaz grabbed Sultan in a headlock to defend himself as the weapon was swung forcefully at his head.
Repeated blows were struck before rail staff intervened, warning Sultan that his actions were being captured on CCTV cameras. Mr Mumtaz suffered bruising to his arms when he raised them to protect himself.