Northern Ireland

Man who allegedly kicked and punched a train conductor wanted to be the ‘alpha male’

Stephen Weldon feared being later for work, court told

Stephen Weldon.
Stephen Weldon.

A man who allegedly kicked and punched a train conductor about the head after being ejected for vaping wanted to show he was “the alpha male”, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said Stephen Weldon, 34, chipped five of the victim’s teeth and then filmed the aftermath of the attack to post on his Facebook page.

As the injured conductor urged other passengers to contact police, Weldon responded by telling them he had been “acting tough and got his ass whooped”.

The defendant, of Inniscarn Drive in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, was refused bail.

He faces charges of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and two counts of criminal damage over the incident onboard the Belfast to Larne service at around 9am on May 8.

The court heard Weldon was asked to leave after the Translink employee observed him vaping, getting off at the Magheramourne halt.

As the train made its return journey, the victim realised he had left a charger behind and stepped off at the same platform to return it to him.

Weldon then launched a series of blows, according to the prosecution, knocking the conductor against the doors of the train and dragging him back out onto the platform.

“He punched and kicked him around the face and head, striking him six or seven times with fist and foot,” a Crown lawyer said.

At that point the victim got to his feet and ran, shouting for passengers to call the police, while Weldon began to record the incident on his phone.

As he walked up the train the defendant allegedly declared: “Hello folks, sorry for the hold up. The guy running the train was acting tough and got his ass whooped. Hope you have a good day. God bless.”

Weldon also filmed himself kicking the conductor’s money bag and stamping on his phone, with the court told that he posted the livestream on his Facebook account.

The victim was taken to hospital amid initial suspicions he had suffered a broken jaw.

It was confirmed that his injuries included five chipped teeth, a swollen head and jaw, and bruising to his calf and arm.

During police interviews Weldon said he had been travelling to a new job in Larne, explaining that it was only his second day and he feared being late.

He claimed the conductor told him it would be a 15-minute walk but then “saw red” and punched and kicked him twice to the ribs.

Prosecution counsel added: “He said the victim’s attitude wasn’t right, that he was trying to be alpha so he showed him who was the alpha male.”

Weldon has made full admissions to carrying out the assault, the court heard.

Bail was denied.