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Woman's 'horrific' ordeal after she's surrounded by boys on train: 'I felt helpless'


Danielle Clark said she felt “helpless”, as staff members and many other passengers did nothing to help. She claimed that four boys began harassing her on a Great Western Railway train from Frome to Bristol Temple Meads in the early evening on Sunday. The boys, aged between 12 and 14 years old, allegedly surrounded Ms Clark and intimidated her.

Describing the incident as “horrible”, she said: “I just felt helpless like no one was going to help me.

“It’s one of those things, I kept thinking I should have done something a bit different but I defended myself.”

She told the boys to go away, but they continued to harass her.

The 26-year-old said: “They said give us your Instagram and we’ll go away, they kept on blowing on my face, touching my face, touching my ear.”

She told Bristol Live that one of the boys threatened to stab her.

When a member of train staff walked past her in the carriage, she asked for help.

But she claimed he just repeatedly asked for her ticket and then asked the boys to leave the train at the next stop before walking away.

A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said: “We are really sorry.

“We expect that anyone should be able to travel on our trains without being abused by fellow passengers.

“Our staff receive training to manage incidents for the safety of all on board, however, ultimately only the police are able to investigate an allegation of a crime.”

One other woman tried to intervene but was shouted at by the boys.

The rest of the carriage did nothing to help, Ms Clark said.

Before getting off the train, the Bristol resident said she asked the train staff member why he did not help her.

She claimed he apologised and told her he did not want to get into trouble for manhandling the boys, adding that he had once ben assaulted while at work.

But Ms Clark hit out at the people that did nothing, saying: “It’s pathetic, there’s such a lack of help to feel that helpless in broad daylight when you’re asking for help, when you’re literally pleading to someone for help, it’s disgusting.

“I’ve completely lost faith in people to be honest.”

Another member of staff saw her leaving the train in tears and escorted her to the station’s police office, where she filed a report.

Ms Clark, who had to take the day off work after the incident, said she was “really knocked” by it.

She said: “I went to the shops yesterday and I can just feel myself a bit taken aback by it, and not really looking at anyone.

“It’s really knocked me back to be honest.”

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She added: “It makes sense how things like this happen every day because no one does anything about it, there’s always women’s rights movements but what’s the point when things like this happen every day and no one intervenes.”

Danielle’s aunt, Nicky Alpin, described the incident as “horrible”, adding: “She’s so upset about it all, you shouldn’t feel at the age of 26 on public transport that you are left to defend yourself.

“I mean, what if they did have a knife, would that be another headline that someone was tragically stabbed on a train with a guard leaving someone that is clearly asking for help?”

A spokesperson for British Transport Police said: “British Transport Police received a report at 5.58pm on Sunday April 3 of a woman being threatened by a group of youths on-board a train near Bristol Temple Meads station.

“Enquiries into this incident are ongoing.

“Witnesses, or anyone with information can contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 438 of 03/04/22.”

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