‘Fare-dodger’ student Sam Main also escapes prosecution

Justice spokesman: ‘Common sense has prevailed’

A man who became a global internet sensation after he was caught on camera throwing an apparent fare-dodger off a train will not be prosecuted, it emerged last night.

Alan Pollock was captured hauling Sam Main out his seat and hurling him onto the station platform after intervening in an argument between the student and a conductor.
Rail worker Alan Mitchell claimed the teenager did not have a valid ticket for the journey – sparking a foul-mouthed rant from the student, who insisted he did.

The incident was captured on a camera-phone by a fellow passenger and quickly appeared on on-line video-sharing website YouTube, where it has been viewed more than two million times.

Mr Pollock, 35, who soon became known as the ‘Big Man’, was applauded by most of his fellow passengers for stepping in but he was landed with an assault charge after 19-year-old Mr Main reported him to the police.

But yesterday, after almost two months with a potential court case hanging over his head, the Crown Office announced its decision to drop the charge as it was not in the public interest.

Mr Main was never charged but was reported to the procurator fiscal for threatening and abusive behaviour and trespass. He will also escape prosecution.

The reprieve for businessman and father of three Mr Pollock was met with delight by his thousands of supporters.

Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: ‘I am pleased that common sense has finally prevailed.

‘Too many people suffer abuse and intimidation at work and it would be a sad day if members of the public were sent the message that it is wrong to stand up for workers.’
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: ‘I’m glad this is over. Respect between staff and passengers is something we should all encourage. I’m sure this incident will be a reminder to us all of the importance of this traditional value.’

Meanwhole, Conservative justice spokesman David McLetchie added: ‘The Procurator Fiscal has come to a very sensible decision on this matter and I welcome that there will not be a prosecution.’
Mr Pollock could not be contacted last night. He has moved from his rented home in Queens Haugh, Stirling, after becoming an unwitting local celebrity.

But his father, retired accountant Jim, from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, said: ‘It’s like the nightmare is over. It’s very good news, I’m glad to hear it.
‘We don’t have this hanging over our heads any more.’

The video of the events, which unfolded on December 9 on the Edinburgh to Perth train, has now been watched on YouTube an astonishing two million times, by people all around the world.
It was captured on a mobile phone by fellow passenger Ian Hems, who looked on as building surveying student Mr Main argued with 63-year-old conductor Alan Mitchell.

‘We don’t have this hanging over our heads anymore’

Mr Main did not have a ticket, which he later blamed on a mistake at Edinburgh Waverley, where he boarded a train after an exam at Heriot Watt University.

He was asked to get off the train but refused – launching into a foul-mouthed rant in front of a mother and two young children sat nearby.

The conductor is shown reasoning with the teenager before Mr Pollock stands up, asking: ‘Do you want me to get him off for you?’

The investment manager at Black Rock in Edinburgh then bundles Mr Main off the train, twice pushing him back, when he tries to reboard. The video ends with the train carriage erupting in applause.

Many have championed Mr Pollock, claiming his was an act of public service and even offering to pay his legal bills if the assault charge made it to court.
However, others argued that he went too far.

Mr Pollock has stayed silent, even after being charged with assault by British Transport Police.

The conductor, 63-year-old Alan Mitchell, was back at work this week after being signed off for six weeks on sick leave, but faces no disciplinary action.

Off and away: The ‘big man’ hoists the youth up from his seat and throws him off the train

And out you go: The passenger pushes the teenager on to the platform. Each time he tries to get back in, he pushes him back out again

Mr Main was the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal under section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010 (threatening and abusive behaviour) and trespass, after apparently going onto the railway line to retrieve a lost possession.
In the wake of the incident, he launched a media offensive to defend himself, claiming he was just desperate to get home, being diabetic and having not eaten all day.

He has repeatedly called for Mr Pollock to face prosecution but was not at home last night to give his reaction. His mother, Angela, speaking from their Falkirk home, said he had believed the older man would face court but would not be commenting further – adding ‘he’s been through enough’.

The Crown Office confirmed neither Mr Main nor Pollock would be given any warning or fine.

A spokesman said: ‘The Procurator Fiscal at Livingston received reports concerning two males aged 35 and 19, in connection with an incident in Linlithgow on Friday 9 December 2011.

‘After full and careful consideration of the reports by Crown Counsel, it was decided that it is not in the public interest to prosecute either male and the cases are now closed.’

Well I’m delighted to see that common sense has prevailed and that Public spirited Alan Pollock hasn’t been prosecuted for behaving like a good spirited, decent member of public ought to.

As for Mr. Main, well, consider this. There are more ways to get an education than sitting in a University lecture theatre so you’d be wise to regard this as part of your education. If you don’t have a valid ticket then don’t get stroppy and start to bully a ticket collector the same age as your Grandad because he was right and you were wrong. Furthermore if you do, someone twice your size like the ‘Big Man’ may well appear and spoil your day. Now to millions of people Alan Pollock is known as the ‘Big Man’ and you are known as the obnoxious ‘Fare dodging student’ who bullied an old man. Stop blaming everyone else will you, grow up and admit you were wrong!