A MAN who trespassed on a viaduct and held up Eurostar and Southeastern High Speed services, delaying the journeys of at least 7,000 people, was protesting about the way politicians are ‘messing up’ the process of leaving the European Union, a court was told.
The viaduct, just outside St Pancras International, is roofed and carries HS1 over the East Coast Main Line.
Terry Maher, 44, of Cubitt Street in Camden, north London, was charged with an offence under the Malicious Damage Act and causing a public nuisance after he had occupied the viaduct roof for 12 hours, carrying a St Georges’ flag
He told police he was also carrying a Stanley knife. He had started his protest at 19.00 on Friday, which was the original day for Brexit, and could only be brought down on Saturday morning.
Eight Eurostar services were cancelled during the incident, while Southeastern cancelled 16 High Speed services to and from St Pancras. Another 44 Southeastern trains were turned short.
Prosecutor Robert Simpson said: ‘There was a total of 1,757 minutes of lost time as a result of it and the estimation is that there will be in excess of £40,000 in delay fines.’
Maher also made remarks to police about illegal immigrants and British foreign aid to India.
District Judge Richard Blake, sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said Maher’s actions had been ‘very serious indeed’. He continued: ‘I should think untold members of the public had their weekends spoiled.’
Maher pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance, but was remanded in custody on the malicious damage charge. He is now due to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on 29 April.