29/05/2008

Miracle Escape Recalled As Man Sentenced For Train Platform Attack

A man has been sentenced for pushing a young woman into the path of an oncoming train.

Thirty-nine-year-old David Lee Arnold, of Walmer Terrace, Woolwich, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent at the Old Bailey today.

Judge Christopher Moss sentenced Arnold to an indefinite hospital order with restrictions for public protection and said it was a "miracle" the victim survived.

The incident occurred last October when the 24-year-old doctor was pushed onto the tracks at Woolwich Arsenal station.

The woman miraculously escaped with her life as she landed between the rails and then the train passed over.

British Transport Police Detective Sergeant Bob Stokoe said: "His victim had a truly incredible escape. When she fell on the tracks she narrowly avoided being electrocuted by the third rail, which carries 750 volts."

It is understood Arnold stood motionless as she disappeared under the train and then calmly walked up the stairs and away from the station.

Two passengers raised the alarm and helped the doctor to safety by pulling her onto the platform.

The woman suffered a broken collar bone and some bruising to the side of her face.

Mr Stokoe said that Arnold gave him up at Plumstead police station about an hour after the incident and told police he had done a "very serious crime".

Judge Moss also recommended commendations for the train driver and a member of the public who went to the aid of the victim.

Mr Stokoe said the young woman has been "extremely traumatised" by the incident and is still recovering from the "distressing ordeal".

In 2004, Stephen Soans-Wade of Poplar, east London, was jailed for life for pushing security guard Christophe Duclos to his death in front of a Tube train at Mile End station.

(DS)


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