‘Wagon wheel’ man finally pays off railway line fine

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A man who repeatedly played Nathan Carter’s ‘Wagon Wheel’ song which led to his house being attacked by an angry neighbour has, more than five years on, finally paid off a fine of his own regarding an incident when he was nearly killed by the wheel of another kind of wagon - a train.

Jason Kane (26), of Elms Park, Coleraine, made media headlines last year when a neighbour damaged his home because he played ‘Wagon Wheel’ on a loop.

And it emerged on Monday at Coleraine Magistrates Court that Kane has now paid off a fine he received in October 2011 for trespassing on a railway line in Coleraine on February 17, 2011.

More than five years on from a court case in October, 20011, he still owed £13 of £289 he had to pay which included fines of £200 and court costs of £89.

The fine default was listed for a review on Monday and his solicitor said Kane had paid £13 that morning to clear the balance owed.

Kane, who potentially faced a stint in jail if the fine was not paid, was not present in the court room when District Judge Liam McNally said the fines had now been paid in full.

The 2011 court heard an intoxicated Kane stood on the railway line and tried to hail an approaching train “like a taxi”.

The court was told the train’s emergency brakes had to be activated to avoid hitting him.

The incident took place at the ‘Ballymoney Banks’ near Coleraine Train Station on February 17, 2011.

A lawyer for Northern Ireland Railways said Kane tried to flag down the train as if it were a cab.

After the train halted, staff took Kane onboard to prevent him from being in further danger and left him to Coleraine Station where an ambulance was called because he hurt his leg when he was “jumping out of the way of the train”.

Kane’s defence lawyer said at the 2011 court his client had been drinking and later had no recollection of what he was doing on the railway line.

He said Kane was lucky not to be injured apart from a scrape to his leg.

He said Kane wrote to NIR to apologise for his behaviour.

Then District Judge Richard Wilson said in 2011 Kane’s antics were “idiotic” and he could have died.

In 2011 Kane admitted a charge of trespassing onto railway property and a further charge of being there in a state of intoxication and was fined a total of £200 and also ordered to pay legal fees of £89.

At the same court in May last year a 53-year-old man received a suspended prison sentence of four months and was ordered to pay £200 to repair damage caused to Kane’s windows at Elms Park.

The court heard the man snapped one Sunday night in January last year when Kane played Wagon Wheel over and over.

The defendant stormed up a communal stairwell shouting: “If I hear Wagon Wheel one more time I’m going to break that stereo” before banging on his neighbour’s door and breaking two windows.

The 53-year-old’s barrister Francis Rafferty said his client had been subjected to repeated playing of the song “on the night in question and for some time beforehand”, and considered it “some sort of psychological torture.”

Mr Rafferty claimed that after the man had threatened to break Kane’s stereo, the song was “played more loudly and more repetitively”.