Chuckling vandal who smashed a police van window and pointed a knife at rail staff in Peterborough jailed

A vandal who hurled a bottle through a police van’s window and returned to the scene of his crime the next day to point a penknife at a member of rail staff has been jailed.

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 11:09 am
Damage caused by Joshua Johnstone.
Damage caused by Joshua Johnstone.

Both incidents occurred at Peterborough railway station in May 2022.

Joshua Johnstone, 23, of Eastfield Road, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on May 21 where he pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article in a public place.

On Wednesday May 24, a judge sentenced him to six months behind bars.

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He then appeared at Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court on June 6 where he pleaded guilty to criminal damage. For the offence a judge sentenced him to a further one-month imprisonment on June 20.

On the evening of Friday May 20, a British Transport Police (BTP) officer situated at Peterborough station witnessed Johnstone run up to a BTP police van and hurl a glass bottle through the driver-side window, causing it to shatter.

The witnessing officer then approached and arrested him on suspicion of criminal damage – he responded to the caution by laughing.

He was conveyed to police custody and charged to court the following morning (May 21) before returning to the railway station and lighting up a cigarette in its foyer.

A member of rail staff approached Johnstone and advised him to smoke outside before he pulled out a penknife and pointed it at the staff member.

He then went outside the station and proceeded to stare at the staff member while tapping on a window with his knife.

Officers quickly attended the station and he was arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article in a public place and returned to police custody.

BTP Inspector David Barker said: “Johnstone’s actions on his two-day crime spree were barbaric and completely needless.

“Not content with damaging a marked police vehicle, he returned to the station with a knife before intimidating a member of rail staff simply for doing their job.

“Threatening behaviour towards rail staff, or anyone on the rail network, will not be tolerated. I’m thankful to the courts for handing down a custodial sentence, giving Johnstone plenty of time behind bars to rethink his actions.”