Man on ice binge stops trains, grabs woman at station
TRAINS travelling on the Ipswich to Brisbane rail line were stopped when a man walked down the rail corridor in front of a slow moving train.
The man, high and paranoid from a three-day ice binge, smashed a window on the stopped train, assaulted a female Queensland Rail worker at Riverview Station and detained her in a room.
The disturbing details of her ordeal were revealed when William Benjamin Charles Blair went before Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence.
Blair, 37, from Riverview, appeared from jail by video-link and pleaded guilty to seven charges including assaulting the woman at Riverview on November 7 last year; deprivation of her liberty; interfering with railway operations; entering premises with intent; two counts of wilful damage; and obstructing police.
Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard tended written agreed facts, and photos of the train carriage with damage to its window, door, and doorframe.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Blair had only been released on parole three days before his bizarre behaviour.
Defence barrister Terry Strong said Blair instructed he was using copious amounts of ice.
"Looks like a three day ice binge. Used the drug three days straight and hadn't slept," Mr Strong said.
"Describes himself as being paranoid and delusional, and believed someone was trying to kill him.
"He acknowledges what he did would have terrified the woman.
"There was absolutely no logical reason for it to happen and would have caused significant distress."
Mr Strong said it would appear Blair had a somewhat sad life with no family in contact.
There was a potential risk for Blair to end up becoming institutionalised because of the time he was spending in jail.
"He tells me he does not want to be in jail and he is very afraid that when released he will make mistakes again," he said.
"And is thinking of not applying for parole in the fear that he does not have support and end up back."
Police sought a jail term of 12 months to begin at the end of his current sentence being served for previous offending.
He had already spent more than six months held on remand.
Ms Sturgess said Blair's existing sentence did not end until November 21.
She said he'd been on an ice bender and in a terrible state when at 11.35am that day he was seen walking down a rail corridor in front of a moving train.
Blair stopped on the tracks and the train had to stop.
Ms Sturgess said Blair entered a carriage and been agitated telling the driver someone was trying to kill him.
He held a screwdriver and began stabbing the glass doors and smashed one glass pane.
The train had stopped at Riverview station and a female Queensland Rail employee tried to get away in fear.
When she tied to close a door she became trapped with Blair in a room on the platform. Blair still held a screwdriver.
She was yelling "let me out, let me out" and Blair tried to get her keys then shoved the screwdriver into a door frame.
She used a mobile phone to call for help. Blair tried to grab it and a struggle ensued.
The frightened woman managed to lock herself in a toilet and police arrived.
Ms Sturgess said it was concerning that he offended so soon after his release from jail.
She said he was now serving a sentence that actually began back in 2014 for robbery and assault causing bodily harm.
She said that if he could not be safely released Blair would likely remain in jail.
"It is a very sad situation you find yourself in Mr Blair," Ms Sturgess said.
Blair was sentenced to a 12-month jail term to begin from November 29 which is when his existing sentence ends.
He will also be eligible to begin his parole application from that date.