Brexit protester jailed over £1m St Pancras disruption

Photo credit should read: BTP/PA Wire.

A Brexit protester who caused major disruption costing more than £1 million by blocking trains running between London, Kent and France has been jailed.

Terry Maher, 44, climbed onto the top of a tunnel overlooking railway lines near St Pancras International station in March, causing disruption to thousands of travellers with his one-man protest, according to British Transport Police (BTP).

In total 88 train services were cancelled and up to 22,000 holidaymakers, travellers and commuters were hit by Maher’s 13-hour demonstration which stopped high-speed trains travelling to the South East and France.

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Maher, of Camden, north London, was found guilty of malicious obstruction of the railway and was sentenced to a year in jail at London’s Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday, according to BTP, who put the estimated cost of the disruption at more than £1 million.

Maher had climbed on to the tunnel – and into what BTP described as an extremely hazardous area – with a St George flag, power banks for his phone and warm clothing.

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International passengers intending to travel on Eurostar from St Pancras, were stranded overnight in London.

After sentencing Detective Sergeant Dean Percival said: “This has been described as the single most expensive incident in the history of high-speed railway in Britain.

“However, not only did it cost the rail industry, it also cost thousands of commuters and holidaymakers their time, significantly delaying their journeys and leaving them stranded at stations desperate for the situation to be resolved.

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“Maher’s selfish actions profoundly impacted the day-to-day lives of the public. That impact is what he was brought to court to answer for.”

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Sam Hewitt