Trespasser jailed for climbing on tunnel in London

St Pancras rail station
Credit: Paul Codd

Near St Pancras International Station, a man who climbed on top of a tunnel which overlooked railway lines, has been jailed.

Terry Maher clambered on top of the tunnel with a St George’s flag, power banks for his phone and warm clothing. He stayed in the extremely hazardous area for 13 hours, blocking trains between London, Kent, and France. After conversations with negotiators, he eventually climbed off the tunnel voluntarily.

Maher’s actions stopped high-speed trains traveling to the southeast and France, which disrupted thousands of commutes and delaying holidays.

On arrest, the 44-year-old, of Cubitt Street in Camden, complained about the police and Brexit.

In total, 88 trains were cancelled and around 22,000 people were directly affected, delayed, inconvenienced or had to abandon their travel plans. The International passengers were stranded overnight in London, as they were intending to travel on the Eurostar.

The cost of the disruption is estimated to be more than £1 million.

Maher was found guilty of malicious obstruction of the railway and was sentenced to one year in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday 12 August.

What did the officials have to say?

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Dean Percival said:

“This has been described as the single most expensive incident in the history of high-speed railway in Britain.

“However, not only did it cost the rail industry, it also cost thousands of commuters and holiday-makers their time, significantly delaying their journeys and leaving them stranded at stations desperate for the situation to be resolved.

“Maher’s selfish actions profoundly impacted the day to day lives of the public; that impact is what he was brought to court to answer for.”

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Emma Holden avatar
I have been around trains at heritage railways all my life. In particular, the narrow gauge trains in Wales, and spent many Duncan days at the Talyllyn Railway when I was younger. I have been a volunteer author for RailAdvent since 2019
  • And it happened during the protests that the UK is to leave the EU with or without a deal. Well we do have stupid people around who don’t care about what danger they will face because of their actions on Brexit.