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Police appeal for info after railway firearm incident

[Wednesday 23 April 2008]

BRITISH Transport Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a train guard was threatened with a firearm at a Yorkshire Dales station.

Two males brandished what is thought to be an air rifle at Horton in Ribblesdale station on Saturday 19 April, 2008.

At approximately 20.20hrs two males attempted to board the Leeds to Ribblehead service at Settle railway station by prising the doors open as the train was about to leave. The train guard refused to let them travel and they became abusive towards him and pulled his tie off and threw it on the floor as they were ejected from the train.

The train continued on its journey and terminated at Ribblehead. The train then commenced its return journey and arrived at Horton in Ribblesdale station at 21.06hrs where two males, believed to be the same involved in the previous incident, approached the train from the platform. One of the males then pointed the weapon at the train guard who got back on to the train fearing for his safety.

A female passenger and her children who were on the platform at the time of the incident dropped to the floor as they also feared for their own safety.

The train guard and driver were left extremely shaken as a result of the incident but were not physically injured.

The first male - who brandished the weapon - is described as white, in his late teens to early 20’s, approximately 6ft 2ins tall, of bulky build (like a rugby player), with short and spiky hair and wearing a blue jacket.

The second male is described as white, in his late teens to early 20’s, approximately 5ft 9ins to 5ft 10ins tall, of slight or proportionate build with slightly ginger hair. He was wearing a beige jacket and a black woolly hat with a badge on the front.

Sergeant David Grant of British Transport Police is investigating. He said: “This was an extremely serious incident which left the train guard, driver and passengers at the station extremely frightened. This weapon was clearly used in a threatening manner to scare the train guard who had previously ejected these two offenders.

“Incidents such as this will not be tolerated by British Transport Police. I am appealing for anyone who witnessed these incidents, on board the train or at Settle or Horton in Ribblesdale, to come forward if you haven’t done so already. I am especially appealing for information as to how these two men travelled from Settle to Horton. Did somebody give them a lift or did they take a taxi?

"This is a small rural community and I’m sure somebody knows exactly who the person with the weapon is. Think carefully, do the right thing, and make the call."

Anyone with information should contact Sergeant Grant at BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting incident number 689, 19 April, 2008 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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