Teen’s ordeal on train

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A DRUNKEN woman who abused and assaulted a 15-year-old Whalley girl on a packed commuter train has escaped an immediate prison sentence.

Blackburn magistrates heard the terrified girl endured the attentions of burly Yvonne Maynard for about eight minutes as passengers stood by and did nothing to help. She later told police she had felt angry that nobody came to her assistance, despite everyone being able to see clearly what was going on.

Maynard (51), of Belvedere Road, Salford, pleaded guilty to assaulting the girl. She was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, but suspended for 12 months, and made subject to community supervision for 12 months and ordered to pay the girl £100 in compensation.

Mr Peter Wilde (prosecuting) said the girl got on the train on September 1st last year just before 6 p.m. and was heading home to Whalley. As she and a male friend walked down the carriage they passed the toilet and, through the open door, saw Maynard on the toilet shouting something about Leo the lion.

Maynard, who was extremely drunk, followed them down the carriage, leaned against a seat and started staring at the girl. She accused her of laughing at her and became abusive.

“The girl tried to ignore her and moved away, but the defendant followed and started shouting in her face,” said Mr Wilde. “She then grabbed her by the hair and gripped her leg with the other hand. The girl was shouting at her to get off and Maynard then grabbed her clothes and started to shake her.”

Mr Wilde said the incident lasted about eight minutes and there was no sign of a guard during the journey. He said the train, which started its journey in Manchester, was full of people making their way home from work.

Mrs Annette Shaw (defending) said Maynard had an alcohol problem and when she used public transport was quite often the subject of ridicule, abuse and violent behaviour by youths.

She said on the day of the incident Maynard had got on the wrong train and it was accepted she had been drinking.

“She perceived these young people were going to be cruel to her and she reacted aggressively. She was hoping to prevent an assault on herself rather than waiting for it to happen,” said Mrs Shaw.