A pensioner stuffed a £10 note into a solicitor’s mouth after he was confronted for repeatedly sneaking into first class.
Barrister Dr Peter Ellis became irritated by a 69-year-old passenger who repeatedly came into the first class section of the carriage to help himself to pretzel snacks and wine.
On the fifth occasion Dr Ellis felt compelled to speak to pensioner Leslie Gilmer. A court heard this led Gilmer to return to the carriage and stuff a £10 note into the mouth of the former hospital doctor and personal injury lawyer.
The bizarre events on the rail journey to Exeter one November evening were told to Exeter magistrates court.
Prosecutor Sonia Croft said Gilmer was acting in a ‘rather obnoxious manner’ as he helped himself to snacks on a food and drinks trolley which were complimentary goods just for first class passengers.
When Dr Ellis challenged Gilmer, the Dublin born defendant retorted:”I’m hungry. I will see you in court.”
But the magistrates heard Gilmer then returned to the carriage and forcefully rammed the £10 note into Dr Ellis’ mouth.
Retired engineer Gilmer was spoken to by police at Exeter St David’s railway station and he admitted throwing the tenner but claimed any physical contact was accidental.
Miss Croft said the court had to decide whether the incident was a ‘pure accident or a deliberate or reckless assault’.
Dr Ellis gave evidence and told the JPs that Gilmer was involved in a disturbance with train staff over the state of the toilets when they embarked on the trip saying they were a ‘f***ing disgrace’ and were not working.
He said Gilmer was also involved ‘in a discussion about whether he could have some alcohol and snacks from the first class trolley’ – even though he had bought £47.50p tickets for standard or second class.
For my part…I have some sympathy for the pensioner. Lawyers can be rather tedious at times. There does seem to be some confusion in the story above about whether the recipient of the £10 note was a solicitor or barrister…but there we are.