A “grossly selfish” yob who caused misery for commuters when he held up trains for four hours at a cost of more than £200,000 has been jailed.
Michael Foy, 31, threatened to jump from a railway bridge in a deliberate bid to cause havoc to the train network.
He eventually climbed down after four hours with his “self-indulgent” actions costing Network Rail £220,000 and long delays for commuters.
Foy, of Rugby, Warks., was jailed for 12 months at Warwick Crown Court after he admitted obstructing an engine on a railway on Thursday (30/7).
Judge Peter Cooke told him: “It is quite plain you were aware of the level of disruption you were causing, and valuable police time was wasted in trying to talk you down.
“I accept you are a vulnerable man with very real challenges. That does not, however, excuse everything.
“I do not doubt for a minute that this was done by you at a time of high personal crisis, but it was also a grossly selfish act – an act which was, to its core, self-indulgent.
“You were thinking ‘I’m unhappy, and everyone else is going to be made to dance to my tune until I get the help I think I need.’
“It is urged on me that I can deal with you in a way which does not deprive you of your liberty. But only immediate custody fits the bill.
The court heard Foy clambered onto a bridge above the train tracks near Rugby Station on May 5.
Earlier in the day police and an ambulance had attended his home after he claimed to have taken an overdose but they left when it appeared he was not unwell.
William Dudley, prosecuting, said: “At just before 3pm Network Rail became aware of the defendant in the vicinity of the train line on one of the bridges near Rugby, having gained access by making threats to a security officer.”
The police were informed, and they found him on the railway bridge over Moors Lane in Hillmorton, threatening to jump.
The court heard Foy was “seen to be making jokes” about the fact that he was causing the rail industry a great deal of loss and inconvenience.
Mr Dudley added: “This went on until just after half past six when he was eventually talked down by a police negotiator and arrested.”
By then he had caused delays to trains totalling 21 hours and 41 minutes at a cost to Network Rail of £222,000.
Amy Jackson, defending, said: “He realises he caused a great deal of delay and cost to the railway services.”