TWO rail passengers are being hunted after verbally abusing a train guard in Wigan and deliberately sneezing on him.
The British Transport Police today appealed for public help in identifying the young men and issued images of them captured opn CCTV.
The revolting incident took place at Wigan North Western Station as a train was waiting at the platform on Tuesday July 19 at 9.35am.
PC Dan Armstrong, of BTP based at the station, said: “Three men attempted to board the train with bicycles, when the train guard stopped them for not holding a valid reservation for their bikes.
“An altercation took place between the group and the guard, when one of the men verbally assaulted him.
“Another one of the group is then believed to have deliberately sneezed in the man’s face.
“The group then made off from the scene.”
Officers have carried out a number of inquiries since the incident including viewing CCTV in the area and have today released these images in the hope that the public can identify the men who may hold key information.
PC Armstrong added: “This victim was left not only covered in spittle but understandably traumatised and angry by this appalling behaviour.
“Rail staff should be able to go about their daily job without fear and, although foul incidents such as this are rare on the rail network, officers take this kind of crime extremely serious and will prosecute wherever possible.”
It is thought that the men may have Preston connections.
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting background reference B11/NWA of 04/08/2011. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.