Railway outburst caught on CCTV

LAWRENCE LAIRD’S frenzied kicking attack on ticket machines, doors and a ticket barrier was caught on security cameras at Gosford Railway Station before he lay down to snooze on a platform bench.

Laird, 21, described in court papers as a tuna fisherman, pleaded guilty in Casino Local Court to damaging State Rail property at 2am on May 19, 2009.

In police facts from the Commuter Crime Unit, Laird, from Casino, was recorded on CCTV entering the concourse of the Gosford Railway Station.

On platform 2, he kicked ticket machines and doors before going back up to the concourse and kicking the ticket barrier, making it inoperable, and causing its light to shift down inside the machine.

Laird then kicked a staff entry door causing damage to the steel locking device before kicking at the doors to the goods lift.

When police arrived, they were shown by rail staff the CCTV footage of Laird’s rampage before going over to wake him up on the bench.

Officers said Laird smelt strongly of alcohol at the time of his arrest, was unsteady on his feet and became argumentative toward them. Police described the damage to the ticket machine as substantial.

Magistrate Nicholas Reimer said it was ‘frightfully bad behaviour’ and Laird may have still been on a good behaviour bond at the time because he recalled placing the offender on a bond for his role in the theft of a crate of 24 cans of Bundaberg Rum and Cola from the cellar of the Charcoal Hotel.

Court documents showed Laird received an 18-month good behaviour bond for the earlier offence when he appeared before Casino Local Court on October 22, 2008.

Mr Reimer refused to sentence Laird until State Rail supplied police and the court with the cost of damages it sought in compensation from Laird.

Defence lawyer Amy Barker objected unsuccessfully to the delay on the grounds police already had plenty of time to get the figure for damages. The case was adjourned for sentence to January 20.

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