Eric Oldroyd from Wakefield has been given a six month suspended prison term and a one thousand pound fine, after being convicted at Marylebone Magistrates Court on multiple counts of ‘Being friendly to strangers on the Tube’.
Smelling strongly of black pudding and rhubarb, and speaking only to confirm his name and address, the defendant entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ before prosecution barrister, Justin Bulstrode, outlined the charges.
A shocked court listened almost in disbelief as Mr Bulstrode told how Oldroyd had greeted one man, who was a complete stranger with, ‘Ay oop, lad,’, before going on to smile at two women and finally ending his rampage of bonhomie by saying ‘Hello missus, ‘appen it’s turned out reet nice again, in’t it?’ to a third. The prosecution confirmed that all three women were also total strangers at the time of the incidents.
The former champion pigeon-fancier and leek-grower was brought to book after Transport Police received numerous complaints about ‘someone still being friendly almost six years after the London 2012 Olympic feel-good factor had evaporated.’
PC David Hamill posed undercover as an ordinary traveler on the Central Line for a week, before finally nabbing his man when unwittingly Oldroyd said to him, “No, no. After thee lad,” as he stood aside to allow the officer off a train first. ‘As soon as he did that I knew we had our man. He stuck out like a sore thumb.’ PC Hammill told LBC after the hearing.
Rejecting the plea and passing sentence, Chairman of the bench, Anthony Houston, warned Oldroyd to ‘never so much as even look at a Tube traveller ever again’ or he would face immediate imprisonment.