At the risk of trespassing on JuliaM's terrritory, we venture into deepest Essex today for the sorry tale of a traveller on the 10.45pm train from Southend who wanted to use the lavatory.
Finding the door jammed, he tried to push it open, whereupon six mini-skirted young women burst out of it and started shouting at him.
One of them punched him in the head and, when the train pulled into Benfleet station immediately afterwards, kicked him out of the carriage door.
As if this were not bad enough, as he fell onto the platform he collided with a 'heavily built' woman waiting there who, despite his frantic protestations, accused him of trying to steal her handbag and punched him in the face.
The unfortunate 54-year-old victim has been left with injuries including a broken nose and two black eyes and, presumably, a vague feeling of having been caught up an episode of 'The Benny Hill Show' directed by Paul Verhoeven.
Though the police say it is 'currently unclear' why the six women were in the same cubicle, their disproportionate anger at being disturbed surely suggests some nefarious purpose. Even if the man gave the door a a hefty shove, his impatience hardly justifies an attack that could have proved fatal.
The story suggests that the women on the train were so intoxicated - whatever the cause - that they were incapable of rational behaviour. Six of them could hardly have felt threatened by a lone man; this was essentially an unprovoked attack by a pack of feral predators.
Without wanting to prejudice any future investigation - always assuming that the police manage to track the original perpetrators down from the interestingly vague description 'early twenties' and 'wearing miniskirts' - it is not unreasonable, given the time of night, to suggest that their final destination was Basildon, a couple of stops further along the line.
It appears that when JuliaM commented here some time ago that 'The Basildon chavs could take Snake Plissken', she really wasn't joking.
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