Man Who Caused Railway Chaos Is Jailed

24 July 2013, 13:15 | Updated: 24 July 2013, 13:34

A man who caused Bedford railway station to be evacuated and trains stopped has been jailed for 5 years

Shaun Thomas, 41, arrived at the station at five to four in the afternoon on December 12 last year. 
He was carrying a walking stick that contained a concealed blade, a knife and had two packages close to his body.
He told a ticket collector to open a gate to let him on the platform. When the guard asked if he had a ticket Thomas went tobooth and placed the two packets on the counter.
After paying for a ticket he got on a First Capital Connect Train. There was a confrontation with two girls on the train, which was stopped and evacuated.
The police had been called by the guard and officers confronted Thomas on the train. When he was asked what was in his packages he replied: 
"Gun Powder - I was going to put it down the train driver's pants and then I was going to blow it up."
Thomas is thought to have been under the influence of drink and amphetamine. 
The packages were analysed and found to contain a dieting supplement called Selivo and were not viable as explosives.
Earlier that day, at around half past eight that morning Thomas set fire to an armchair in his Pilgrim Housing Association ground floor flat in Dunham Close, Bedford.
He shouted to his neighbours: 
"Get out and get all your precious things out because the block is going up"
Fire fighters were called and stopped the blaze spreading. There was £2,788 smoke and fire damage to the lounge and kitchen.
Thomas, who has a distinctive tattoo on the right side of his face, pleaded guilty to arson, two charges of having an article with a blade and causing a public nuisance. A bomb hoax charge was not proceeded with.
Judge Stuart Bridge jailed him for 5 years.