Video: 'Big Man' who threw fare dodger off train and became viral hit avoids prosecution
Published 09/02/2012 | 07:55
THE "big man" who became an internet sensation when he threw a suspected fare dodger off a train will not face criminal proceedings.
The Crown Office said it would not be in the public interest to prosecute burly Alan Pollock, a 35-year-old financial manager, or his alleged victim.
He intervened after Sam Main, 19, failed to produce a valid ticket during an angry confrontation with a conductor on the Edinburgh-Perth train in December. Another passenger filmed the incident and footage of it has been viewed two million times on YouTube.
A Facebook group was also set up in Mr Pollock’s honour, called, “Pay yer train ticket or the big man will chuck ye aff”.
The businessman is a performance manager with the blue-chip investment management company BlackRock, in Edinburgh.
He was applauded by fellow passengers when he returned to his seat after manhandling the student to the platform at Linlithgow, one stop short of Mr Main’s planned destination. The teenager suffered cuts and bruises when he landed face first and his family called for Mr Pollock, from Stirling, to be prosecuted.
Criticism was also directed at the conductor, Alan Mitchell, 63, who allowed the businessman to intervene.
Mr Main, from Falkirk, claimed at the time that he bought a ticket for his return journey to Napier University in Edinburgh, but was mistakenly given two single tickets for the inward leg.
Two weeks after the incident, Mr Pollock was charged with assault and Mr Main was reported to prosecutors over an alleged breach of the peace but the Crown Office said no proceedings would be brought and the case was closed.
Angela Main, 43, said last night that she had already been told her son had been cleared but had expected Mr Pollock to be taken to court.
Mr Pollock’s father Jim, speaking at home in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, said the “nightmare was over”.
In December, Mr Pollock said he had raised his son to know right from wrong, adding: “It was very out of character for Alan. He must have been pushed to the limit. I was a wee bit disappointed no one actually got up and helped him.”
Former neighbours said Alan Pollock, his wife Avril, and their three children, moved out of their rented property by the River Forth weeks after the incident.
One added: “The 'Big Man’ moved away about a month ago.
“I don’t know where they went but I’m glad the charges have been dropped.
“He did what many people like to think they would do in that situation and because of that there was a lot of support for him in the Riverside area.”