British student walks free, after putting feet on trainseat

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

19-year-old Kathleen Jennings walked free from court today after getting an absolute discharge from her court case. The teen was taken to court by train operator Merseyrail after being caught with her feet on a chair.

The teen wept as she left court as a conviction would have shattered her dream of becoming a teacher but the absolute discharge means that no conviction or other penalty will be imposed and the attempted prosecution will have no affect on her criminal record.

Merseyrail is the only British train operator to prosecute for this offence and most others only impose a fine after repeat offences, however their "zero tolerance" policy has resulted in over 250 people being taken to court by the operator with another 800 thought to come.

Merseyrail said in a statement: "We do not regard our campaign as Draconian. We are responding to the demands of passengers who don't want to sit on a seat covered in mud or dirt, and the campaign has received widespread messages of support from passengers throughout the country.

"Putting feet on seats is antisocial and there are plenty of warnings on our network against this behaviour and the consequences of doing so."