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Man in rail death leap bid is charged with trespass
A MAN who tried to jump ion fornt of a train to kill himself was then prosecuted for trespass.
Peter Anderson, 38, tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train at Leigh train station on May 15, but was stopped by police.
The Crown Prosecution Service then decided to prosecute Anderson, of no fixed abode, for trespass, a charge he admitted at Southend Magistrates’ Court.
However, concerns have been raised over whether Anderson, who was given a three month conditional discharge for the crime, should have been prosecuted in the first place.
His friend Danny Salmon, 31, from Shoebury, said: “This was a cry for help.
“But all that has happened up until now is he has been given drugs by doctors and pulled up in court rather than talked to or sent to something like rehab.
“It seems like a waste of taxpayer money especially as the clear answer is to give him help.”
In court, Anderson’s solicitor Ann Blyth-Cook, explained why her client had tried to take his own life.
She said: “My client has fallen on hard times.
“He has been out of work for some time now since losing his driving licence and because he cannot read or write he has struggled to find a new job.
“This incident was a cry for help and he needs support to get back on the mend.”
Before sentencing him, chairman of the bench, Roger Harbidge, said: “I wish I had a box of tricks and could pull something out for you, but miracles take much longer.
“What I would say to you is talk to the probation service because they have certain things you can try in terms of finding literacy courses and helping with finances.
“I really do hope you can find something or someone who can help you out.”
A spokeswoman for the CPS said the prosecution was in the public interest.
She said: “In this case, due to the fact the defendant was on prohibited land, namely train tracks, and by his doing so could harm or cause distress to other members of the public and/or their safety it is clear that it was in the public interest to proceed.
“This course of action we hope would also deter anyone else from acting in the same manner in the future, which is dangerous and could potentially endanger lives. The safety of the defendant or anyone on or in the proximity of train tracks is paramount.
“The court process will always seek to identify any further help or support the defendant in a case such as this may need which they may not have received otherwise.”