A man has been jailed after assaulting a passenger as he attempted to steal a bag between Woolwich and Charlton.
Aaron Foley, 32, was sentenced to 10 years. He was seen on CCTV attacking the passenger with continual punches and kicks before throwing her in the carriage.
In court it was revealed that Foley, who lived on Kingsman Street in Woolwich had been begging on the train.
It once again raises questions of staffing across the Southeastern Metro and Thameslink network. There are no guards on trains and most stations away from central London have open barriers – if they exist at all.
I took the above photo myself after a drunken passenger threw a bottle at me. Despite being near the afternoon peak no staff were around.
Even stations that have seen rapid growth have seen little change in staffing levels in recent years. TfL proposed staffing all stations from first to last train if they took over Southeastern services but former Conservative Transport Secretary Chris Grayling blocked the move.
Just last month I again witnessed first hand the impact of no staff. A suicide attempt had blocked all trains. Not a single staff member was at the station to help passengers waiting on platforms for hours.
The victim of this on-board assault stated: “I have nightmares about the incident, it is a recurring nightmare. I think about it every day. Sometimes I wish I could have fought better. Why couldn’t I fight him off?
After this incident I no longer feel comfortable talking in public.”
The victim required surgery after the woman had suffered multiple injuries requiring dental surgery.
Sentencing Foley to 10 years, the Judge stated significant psychological harm had also been done and that Foley posed a serious risk of further offence.