Train behaviour costly for man

A MACKAY man, who was kicked off the train at Gympie North Station because of his behaviour, was steadfast in his belief he did nothing to deserve a charge of committing a public nuisance.

Peter Kerr Coghlan, 68, pleaded not guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court and represented himself in court this week.

The first witness in the stand was a Queensland Rail (QR) supervisor who was in charge of the train that day.

He said Coghlan boarded the Sunlander Train at Brisbane on June 14 of last year and was given a number of warnings before being ejected at Gympie North.

He said he first noticed Coghlan on the platform looking unsteady on his feet and smelling of liquor.

Coghlan was taken to his seat but was found later snoozing in one of the sleeping cars.

Coghlan was guided back to his seat, but went and sat down in the Club Car and ordered a beer as soon as service started at 10am.

He began to dance and become aggressive when asked to tone it down, yelling at the service attendants he “should be able to have a drink, dance and a sing-along”.

The supervisor told the court it was a health and safety rule that no one was allowed to dance on the train.

Coghlan was refused alcohol from then, which upset him even more and he became irate, swearing in a raised voice and generally disturbing the peace on the train.

He was asked to leave of his own accord but he refused, forcing the supervisor to call police to have him removed.

“A lot of elderly people left the club car as soon as he started carrying on. They were too embarrassed to be there,” the supervisor said.

“Later on they said ‘thank God you got rid of him at Gympie North or it would have been a bad trip to Cairns”. Coghlan disputed minor facts in the hearing, claiming he was unfairly treated by QR staff but was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by Magistrate Maxine Baldwin. Coghlan was placed on a bond to be of good behaviour for six months with a recognizance of $500.

Gympie Times

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