Drunk Train Driver Avoids Jail After Driving Train Into Scaffolding At Rail Depot

A Southern trains depot driver, who was found guilty of being drunk whilst in charge of a train, has been sentenced following an investigation by the British Transport Police.

Joseph McKeraghan, of Worple Road, London, appeared at Central London Magistrates’ Court on 6 January. 

He was handed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for twelve months, a twelve-month driving ban, and he was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £890.

On 27 December 2018, McKeraghan was driving a train in Southern’s Selhurst depot in south London. 

At around 4 pm, his train collided with scaffolding ladders, which became tangled under the train, jamming the train and causing damage.

Image credit: British Transport Police

The defendant then failed to remain on duty and provide a formal account of what happened; instead, he went home skipping the mandatory breath test following an incident such as this. 

Police officers from BTP then met him at home, where he answered the door holding a bottle of wine. 

McKeraghan was arrested, and at custody, he blew a reading of 38 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. 

A forensic back-calculation was completed, due to the time that had passed since the incident, and it was determined McKeraghan would have been two and a half times over the limit when the collision happened.

The defendant was found guilty in his absence during an earlier hearing. 

Inspector Dan Tanner from British Transport Police said: 

“A train driver is a safety-critical role, and it is frankly shocking that a driver would put themselves and the other rail staff in that depot in danger by being over the limit. 

“McKeraghan has only himself to blame, and I hope he reflects on what was a very poor and dangerous decision to make.”

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