A date has been set for the sentence of a mental patient who brought chaos to the region’s rail system when he threatened to jump off a bridge onto a busy main line.
Jeremy Stewart caused 12 trains to be cancelled and left hundreds of Bristol Rovers fans stranded in Exeter on the first day of the season after the service they were booked on was unable to reach them.
He sat on a bridge at Hamelin Way, Torquay, for more than an hour and caused six trains to be cancelled and another six diverted or disrupted.
His actions cost Network Rail an estimated £37,000 in delays because he caused the closure of the line between Exeter and Paignton.
This had a knock on effect because it stopped Cross-Country trains which due to go beyond Exeter and were packed with tourists returning home on Saturday August 3. The disruption to the rail network extended as far as Leeds.
Stewart, aged 39, from the Willows, Torquay, has admitted trespassing on the railway and disrupting trains and is likely to be sentenced when he returns to Exeter Crown Court on September 5.
He appeared before Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, by video link from Exeter Prison, where he has been remanded in custody since the railway bridge siege on August 3.
Stewart has also admitted wasting police time during an earlier incident on a railway bridge near Torbay on July 27 but denies an assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said the defendant could be sentenced for the offences which he has admitted when he returns to court and a date set for any further trial at the same time.
Mr Adrian Chaplin, defending, said all the incidents involved attempts at self harm on or near railway lines and his client had a significant history of mental health problems.
Judge Gilbert remanded Stewart in custody on all the charges he faces.