Cardiff train commuter says rugby fans assaulted her

Arianne Exell
Image caption Arianne Exell says she is speaking out in the hope it helps others

A commuter travelling home on a train has described how she was verbally and physically assaulted by rugby fans.

Arianne Exell, who is 23, said she was surrounded by three drunk men while travelling from Cardiff early on Sunday evening.

She alleged they tried to prevent her from leaving, and were touching her on her legs.

British Transport Police (BTP) said while no arrests have been made, an investigation was under way.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Drive programme, Ms Exell said the experience had left her anxious and avoiding rail travel.

"It is shameful - really shameful behaviour," she said.

She added that her ordeal began after getting on the 19:07 Treherbert service from Cardiff after finishing work in the Welsh capital.

She said three men sat around her on seats, effectively forcing her into the window seat.

"They were just like: 'What's your name, where you going, are you single?'," she said.

Image caption The incident happened after leaving Cardiff

"Then it just got a bit hands on and they were pulling my handbag off my lap - touching my leg and rubbing their hands up my leg along my knee."

She said the men had clearly been to a rugby event, and were very drunk.

"No-one else was kind of noticing that I needed help," she said.

"It felt like it went on for so long."

Eventually, she forced her way past the individuals, using an umbrella, and contacted the British Transport Police.

Officers met her at a station when she got off.

"I just broke down," she said. "It was so difficult - it was scary. I was thinking 'Why me? Why has this happened? Why do people do this?'"

Ms Exell said she had waived her anonymity to speak out about the incident.

"It happens a lot more than is spoken about. It shouldn't have happened," she said.

A spokesman from British Transport Police said: "Shortly after 7.45pm on 29 September, officers received a report of a woman being assaulted and harassed by three men on board a train travelling between Cardiff and Treherbert.

"Officers attended and met the victim, an area search was conducted to trace the suspects."

A Transport for Wales spokesman added: "We were concerned to hear about this incident and we will work closely with our partners in BTP to help investigate."

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