War veteran launched racist tirade on East Sussex train and said he would 'kill everyone'
A troubled war veteran threatened to kill everyone on a train from London Victoria to East Sussex in a ‘vile’ racist tirade.
Drunken Anthony Evans told two black passengers that he would kill people of colour ‘like I did in the Falklands’ on a journey to Eastbourne in January, a court heard today (Tuesday, April 23).
Evans, 53, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment and possession of a knife and was sentenced at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
The judge heard that Evans – who served two tours in Northern Ireland – has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in the armed forces and suffers with depression.
Racist tirade on a London Victoria to Eastbourne train
Prosecutor Martina Sherlock told the court that Evans got on a train at London Victoria on January 30 this year and was seen to be drunk.
He sat down opposite a man and his girlfriend and struck up a conversation, before walking off down the carriage.
As he left Evans said ‘women will be the death of us’, the court heard.
The prosecutor said: “Then he began shouting abuse in an aggressive, very loud voice.
“The man turned around to see what was going on and says that he saw Mr Evans facing two black gentlemen and was directing the words he was saying towards them.”
Evans shouted racial slurs ‘at least ten times’ and said he would ‘kill them [slur] like I did in the Falklands’.
The court heard, he added: “I will kill everyone on the train. What are you going to do about it?”
Evans found to be carrying a knife
Evans later returned to the man and his girlfriend and began abusing him verbally.
The man stood up and Evans grabbed hold of his face, the court heard. The man then punched Evans in self-defence.
The prosecutor continued: “Mr Evans got off at Lewes Railway Station and then tried to get back on the train, however, rail staff and passengers stopped him.”
He was arrested and taken to hospital. Police found a knife in his possession.
Depression and PTSD from time in Northern Ireland
Defence solicitor Robert Gregory said: “The knife was never brandished at any point.
“He cannot recall his behaviour on the train but he is apologetic.
“He’s a man who clearly needs help. He does want to get the support.”
Mr Gregory said Evans served two tours in Northern Ireland in 1982 and 1984 ‘when the troubles were very much at their height’ and as a result suffers with PTSD.
District judge Teresa Szagun said: “There can have been no doubt in your mind that it is not an excuse to have [a knife] in your possession because you are homeless and have to cut things up.”
She said his racist tirade was made worse by the confined space of the train carriage and said he used the ‘vilest and most humiliating language’ to cause ‘maximum distress’.
Evans was jailed for eight months.
Police: 'No excuse for carrying such a deadly weapon'
A spokesman for British Transport Police (BTP) said: "There can be no excuse for carrying such a deadly weapon and we welcome this sentence.
"Up and down the country, British Transport Police is working hard to tackle knife-crime head on.
"Every knife off the streets is a victory and officers will continue to work tirelessly to seize knives and send a very clear message that we will never tolerate weapon and knife enabled crime on the rail network."