A mortgage broker has been fined for assaulting a rail worker at King’s Cross station, The Evening Standard Reports.
A court heard that after missing the train to Hertfordshire to get to his 55th birthday celebrations, Simon Checkley, managing director of Private Finance in London, grabbed the staff member Luke Leach and shouted homophobic abuse at him.
He turned up late and insisted on being let through the ticket barrier and then shouted “your system is b*******”.
When Leach tried to speak to Checkley and tell him off for being “hostile and rude”, Checkley said that the service is “crap” and took out his phone, saying “What’s your name? I’m going to take a picture. Smile for the picture”.
Checkley reached for and grabbed the top of the Leach’s left arm, and then reached out and grabbed the top of the train worker’s left arm.
The court heard that when Checkley was told this was assault, he made homophobic slurs, challenging Leach to a fight.
A court heard that Checkley said: “I bet you really want a f***ing fight you little gay boy”, and he shouted, “Any time, any place. We’ll see what happens,”.
Checkley’s brokerage is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London.
He pleaded guilty to assault on Leach on 3 May. Magistrate Colin Bateman-Jones ordered him to pay a £500 fine, £350 in costs and court fees, and £100 compensation to Leach.
Prosecutor Jennifer Gatland said: “The defendant was told there was no need to be rude and when he repeated that he wanted to be let out he was informed that his behaviour was hostile and rude.”
Checkley told police he had been drinking but said he only touched Leach’s arm and didn’t make use any homophobic language.
Aisling Byrnes, representing Checkley, said he was “mortified and deeply sorry” by the incident, and cannot remember using any abusive language.
“He accepts he was frustrated and wanted to get to the train and admits he might have been abrupt and was reprimanded by Mr Leach. Mr Checkley was being told off and he escalated things.”
Byrnes said the incident was “heated on both sides”, but Checkley did not want to “waste the court’s time by mitigating the difference”.
She added: “He has worked hard all his life and is used to good behaviour and good manners,” she said. “He is not someone who is regularly inebriated. He is a law-abiding man who lost his temper. [He] was ashamed to miss the birthday party because he was in police custody.”
Leach said he feels “really angry” about the incident.