Traveller in Harpenden Railway Station fracas

The case was heard at St Albans Magistrates' Court

The case was heard at St Albans Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A traveller who pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive words with intent to cause fear after being called a “pikey” at Harpenden Railway Station faces a possible jail term.

Patrick Cash, 23, of High Street, Kimpton, appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court last Friday (6), where he pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or displaying behaviour with intent to cause people to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against them, or to provoke unlawful violence.

The charge related to an altercation at Harpenden Railway Station on December 12 last year, and in March he had initially pleaded not guilty.

By changing his plea to admit the offence at Friday’s hearing, magistrates told Cash that he was in breach of a suspended sentence handed down some months ago for an earlier offence.

The court heard that at 1.20am people were queuing for a taxi at the railway station, when Cash and a woman “jumped the queue” to enter a taxi, which resulting in heated words being exchanged with others waiting nearby.

He was told to “go back to your pikey encampment”.

This comment prompted Cash to leave the taxi, and ask those in the queue: “Who said I’m a pikey? I’m going to kill you.”

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The court was told that Cash’s fists were clenched, and after pushing a female over, a person in the queue was punched in the face – however the latter victim has not come forward to the police.

He was detained by the police at the station, who heard him threaten: “I’m going to kill him stone dead; if you don’t arrest him tonight, I’m going to kill him.”

However, when Cash was later interviewed by officers - when no solicitor was present - he did not respond to questions put to him.

He was subsequently charged with the public order offence, but not for assault.

The court was told there had been no previous offences of threats of violence and that he should be given “some credit for his guilty plea”.

Magistrates said that they needed a probation report, but as there was just one probation officer serving all the hearings at the local courthouse that day, none were available.

Sentencing was thus delayed until tomorrow (Friday), with magistrates telling Cash: “We will be looking at all options, which could include prison, but we don’t know as yet.”

Bail was granted by the court, ahead of sentencing.