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7 April 2010, 18:23 | Updated: 7 April 2010, 18:41
British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for information after a violent attack on a train conductor between Pevensey & Westham and Hampden Park stations.
Investigators have also released CCTV images of a man they would like to identify and speak to in connection with the incident, which took place on the 12.22pm Southern service from Ore to Eastbourne.
PC Paul Gardner, based at Brighton BTP station on Queens Road, said the incident took place around 12.50pm on Wednesday, 17 March 2010, after a group of men boarded the train and purchased tickets from the conductor:
“The member of staff accidentally gave one of the men too much change and politely asked that he return it.
“The man refused and began arguing with the conductor, who warned the man he would have to leave the train if he continued to verbally abuse him.
“When the train arrived at Pevensey & Westham station the man followed the conductor, a 36-year-old from Hove, into another carriage before putting him in a tight head-lock, leaving the victim gasping for breath.”
Concerned passengers wrenched the man away and he fled the train at Hampden Park station.
PC Gardner added:“This was a violent attack on a man who was simply trying to do his job and should have been able to carry out his duty without fear of violence. If you recognise the man pictured in the CCTV image then we want to hear from you.
“We’ve made local enquiries as part of our investigation into the attack and have spoken with witnesses and ask anyone with any information to get in touch.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference B3 of 06/04/2010, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.