Vandals on rail rampage

THREE boozy vandals who broke into carriages at Midland Railway Centre told staff they were “on a mission”, a court heard.

Monday, 19th September 2011, 5:56 pm

A window was broken to gain entry to a carriage and the contents of a fire extinguisher was sprayed around inside another on the morning of May 8.

Staff repeatedly asked the trio to come out but “got no common sense out of them”, prosecutor Mike Treharne told Chesterfield magistrates.

Teenager Edward Makwalo, of Belvoir Way, Somercotes, said: “We are ending our quest at the reservoir.” He climbed out of a window but the other two stayed inside, saying they were on a mission. Police were called and they were arrested a short distance from the centre at Butterley, near Ripley,

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Mr Treharne said Makwalo had used a plank to smash a carriage window. He added: “It appeared to be wanton and malicious damage to railway property. They said they had been at a party all night.”

Gibson (22), of James Street, Leabrooks, Adam Pettifer (22) of Forge Row, Ironville, and Makwalo (19) admitted damaging property. Gibson and Pettifer were ordered to do 60 hours unpaid work while Makwalo must do 40 hours. Each must pay £166 compensation, with £85 costs.

Asif Manir, for the defendants, said they “had a skinful”. “These carriages are 30 to 40 years old and awaiting restoration. There’s a smell of stale urine in most of them and they had perhaps already been vandalised.

“They entered one carriage though an insecure door and set off fire extinguishers in an extremely juvenile fashion,” said Mr Manir.

He added: “Mr Makwalo smashed a window with a view to entering a second carriage. They referred to the incident as a mission.”