Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Rail line 'planking' boy in court

A teenager was given a four-month referral order after being photographed 'planking' on a railway line
A teenager was given a four-month referral order after being photographed 'planking' on a railway line

A 14-year-old boy who was photographed lying on one of Britain's busiest railway lines in a 'planking' prank was told by magistrates he could have caused "untold grief" to his family and a train driver.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was featured on the Facebook profile of the York Planking Association lying on the East Coast Main Line with his head on one rail and his ankles on the other.

Planking is a craze for taking photographs of people lying down in unusual places and posting them on the internet. It has already been linked to the death of a man who fell from a balcony in Australia.

On Tuesday, as the schoolboy admitted a charge of trespassing on the railway, York Youth Court was told how a train came thundering past on an adjacent line as he was lying on the track.

Kathryn Reeves, prosecuting, said the youth admitted he had gone on to the line at the end of May or beginning of June and a friend stood on a fence to take the snap.

Miss Reeves said he told police he did it as he "had nothing else to do".

The teenager, who was given a final warning for an offence of common assault earlier this year, was given a four-month referral order.

Chair of the bench Francesca Horsfield said: "This can only be described as an act of total stupidity. It isn't brave at all, is it?"

Mrs Horsfield said: "It could have caused untold grief, not only to your family but to others as well - not least to the train driver who could have had an awful experience of seeing you killed in a horrendous manner."

Asked if he wanted to say anything, the boy said: "You don't realise what you're doing until you've done it. It's not funny when you look at it again."

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