A RUNCORN thug who pushed a British Transport Police officer onto railway lines, knocking her unconscious, has been jailed for two and a half years.

Kevin Phythian, 32, of Halton Road, Runcorn, grappled with the female officer as she tried to arrest him after he ran across live tracks onto the platform at Manchester Oxford Road station on Sunday, February 15.

As the officer struggled with Phythian, he pushed her, causing her to fall backwards off the platform and onto the line.

A quick-thinking station supervisor, who was also assaulted by Phythian as he tried to prevent him escaping from the scene, used an emergency phone to stop all trains to ensure she was not hit by a train.

The officer, who was knocked unconscious, sustained a cut to the back of her head, a broken finger and bruising to her arm.

Phythian had earlier racially-abused a member of rail staff who asked to see his ticket at Oxford Road.

DC Mike Dermody said: “The sentence handed to Phythian demonstrates the severity of his actions and the danger that our frontline officers face every day.

“No officer should have to endure such violence when they are simply carrying out their job, and putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a police officer working in the line of duty and trying to detain a suspect.

“Violence against our officers and rail staff will not be tolerated, and we will seek to have them dealt with swiftly by the courts.

“I would like to commend officers who quickly apprehended Phythian.

“A proactive CID investigation means that Phythian was sentenced only a fortnight after the incident.”

Supt Eddie Wylie said: “This was nasty attack and Phythian’s sentence reflects just how seriously assaults like these are taken by the courts.

"Officers have the right to carry out their jobs free from fear whilst making the public feel safe and secure and they should not be subjected to this type of behaviour.

"Make no mistake, we will take immediate action on anyone who assaults a member of the public, a police officer or a member of rail staff.

“I hope that this sends a clear message that violence will not be tolerated on the rail network.

"I would also like to praise the diligence and hard work of the officers investigating this incident which has helped secure the conviction and resulted in such a speedy outcome.”

Phythian was sentenced to 18 months for aggravated bodily harm, six months for endangering rail safety, three months for racially-aggravated public order, and three months for common assault.