Rugby fan spared jail for late-night train attack on police officer

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A rugby fan who kicked a passenger in the face on a Northampton-bound train after a day out at Twickenham has escaped prison after the judge ruled the attack was “completely and utterly out of character”.

Colin Goldring, aged 57, of Shelford Close, Northampton, who had previously served with the army, was handed a 12-month prison sentence at Northampton Crown Court yesterday.

However, Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC suspended the sentence for 12 months after accepting he had kicked the fellow passenger, who suffered a hairline fracture to his eye socket, in a moment of “unbelievable stupidity”.

The court heard the attack happened on a Euston to Northampton train, at around 1am on February 24, as Goldring and the victim, who is a serving police officer, both travelled home from an England v France Six Nations match.

After an altercation about noise on his mobile phone, Goldring, who later told police he had drunk about 11 pints during the day, kicked the victim in the face, prompting a fracas that was captured on CCTV and played in court.

After watching the footage, Recorder Syfret said: “This is a thoroughly decent man who has done something unbelievably stupid at the age of 57.

“He has to be sentenced for what he had done, but it can not be sensible to send him to prison.”

Instead he handed Goldring a suspended sentence, ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and ruled he should pay £150 in court costs.