London

Man detained for pushing worker on London Bridge track

A man with schizophrenia has been detained indefinitely for pushing a rail worker in front of a train.

Stuart Cowdrey threw Ade Yusuf into the path of the Charing Cross-bound service at London Bridge station in January.

Hours earlier Cowdrey, 38, had been taken to hospital in a confused state but wandered off before being assessed.

At the Old Bailey, Cowdrey, of Camden Town, north London, admitted endangering the safety of a person on the railway.

He also admitted assaulting another member of staff at the station.

The court heard Cowdrey, of Pratt Street, was found wandering the streets in a confused state the same morning.

Safety concerns

He was taken to Whitechapel Hospital in east London but left before assessments could be completed, sparking a police search.

Hours later he turned up at London Bridge Station where he was seen running on the spot and banging his head against a pillar before jumping on to the track and climbing back on to the platform.

Trains coming into the station were warned and drivers slowed down to 15mph on their approach.

Concerned for his safety, Mr Yusuf approached Cowdrey but was pushed on to the track as a train was coming into the station.

The court heard Mr Yusuf managed to avoid the live rail and the train came to a halt between 75m and 90m away from him.

He now suffers from recurring nightmares and although he has returned to work after several months off, he is said to be too scared to go back to his original job on the platform.

Colin Young helped his colleague up but was punched and kicked by Cowdrey, who was eventually restrained by police.

Dr Timothy Rogers, a psychiatrist, said Cowdrey had a long history of schizophrenia and had stopped taking his medication in mid-2009.

Det Sgt Pete Thrush, of British Transport Police, said: "Thankfully the victim was not seriously injured in this case, although the incident has had a lasting effect on him.

"Thanks to quick-thinking station staff, the driver of a train was able to bring the service to a quick stop, preventing far more serious consequences."

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