Appeal rejected

29 September 2010, 13:07 | Updated: 29 September 2010, 13:17

A four-year jail term imposed on a man for pushing a woman on to a rail track after a row about him smoking on the platform was ``fully justified'', the Court of Appeal ruled today.

Three judges in London rejected a challenge by 33-year-old carpenter Ionel Rapisca, of Joyce Green Lane, Dartford, Kent, against his ``manifestly excessive'' sentence.

Lord Justice Leveson, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Flaux  described it as a ``grave'' offence.

Announcing the decision of the court, Mr Justice Flaux said the gravity of the crime and the need to deter others from ``appalling behaviour such as this'' fully justified the sentence imposed in March.

At a trial at Maidstone Crown Court Rapisca was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to 59-year-old senior management consultant Linda Buchanan.

She was injured during a morning rush-hour incident in August 2008 at Farningham Road station in Kent.

Miss Buchanan had earlier warned Romanian Rapisca against smoking at the station.

The trial judge said Rapisca's actions could have killed Miss Buchanan as a fast train was due to pass through moments later.

She suffered a fractured wrist, severe bruising to her thigh and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.

The judges were told today that she is making good progress, but is still receiving treatment.