A THUG who assaulted a ticket collector at Ravenscourt Park tube station has been handed a 12-month community service order. Mark Matta,29, from Rockley Road in Shepherd's Bush, told a clerk that he had lost his ticket and could not pay his fare.
He was told to wait at a ticket barrier,but instead forced open the gate at the station in Ravenscourt Place, Hammersmith.
When a staff member approached him, an argument erupted and Matta punched him in the face and fled down an escalator.
British Transport Police (BTP) and London Underground Workplace Violence Unit (WVU) circulated CCTV pictures to police officers, leading to Matta's arrest at his home. Matta was charged with common assault and appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, August 4.
He denied the offence, but was found guilty of the charge.
BTP's PC Mark Jenkins said: "This was a vicious and completely unprovoked attack on a member of staff who was simply trying to do his job and I hope the sentence handed down to Matta sends out a clear message that this sort of violence will not be tolerated."
Aidan Harris, manager of London Underground WVU said: "Any attack, verbal or physical, on our staff is totally unacceptable. This sentence should serve as a warning to anyone out there willing to attack a member of our staff."
Matta was also ordered to pay £75 court costs for the attack on October 9 last year.