Woman saved by rail staff

AN ALCOHOLIC woman who tried to throw herself in front of a train and then assaulted a police officer has been handed a conditional discharge.

AN ALCOHOLIC woman who tried to throw herself in front of a train and then assaulted a police officer has been handed a conditional discharge.

Elizabeth Covington, 56, of Middle Market Road, Great Yarmouth, was drunk when she tried to throw herself in front of a freight train at Ipswich station, South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard.

She pleaded guilty to entering a railway while unfit and assaulting a police constable.

Colette Griffiths, prosecuting, said the incident happened at about 3.40pm on Tuesday January 13.

“She jumped in front of a passing freight train but was detained by National Express staff,” she said.

“Police were called and it emerged she was heavily intoxicated as a result of a custody battle between her son and his ex-partner so she was arrested and taken to Bury Police Station.”

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Ms Griffiths said that while en route to the police station Covington, who was in the back seat, kicked out at the driver, momentarily blocking his view.

At the time the police vehicle was being driven at around 100mph with blue lights flashing.

“The officer said he was travelling at high speed and it could potentially have been a dangerous incident,” she said.

Declan Gallagher, mitigating, said his client has struggled with a drink problem since the age of 13.

She lives with her 23-year-old son and is close to his two children who are currently subject to a custody battle, he added.

“She lost three children in her earlier years and now has access to them which is like a second go for her,” he said.

“We accept she has something of a drink problem but when she looks after them she stays sober.”

Mr Gallagher said the incident in the police car began when Covington became agitated and the driver decided to put on the blue lights and speed up to around 100mph to get to the police station quicker.

“If she is aggrieved, how is putting on flashing lights and sirens and driving at 100mph going to address the situation?” he added.

“In my mind that was an error.”

Magistrates issued a 12-month conditional discharge for each of the offences.

Covington was also ordered to pay �60 costs.

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