A HOMELESS man who cycled down a railway line was “lucky to be alive”, a Swindon judge said.

Marcin Siwko, 38, was spotted cycling down the Bradford-on-Avon to Trowbridge line on September 13 by a walker, who called police.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard that officers initially struggled to find the man on the busy Bath to Southampton line.

When they managed to catch up with him he was found to have a lock knife and small about of cannabis in his possession.

Siwko’s lawyer, Moses Taiwo, told the court on Tuesday: “He says he didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to be on it.”

An incredulous District Judge Joanna Dickens replied: “What? He’s an adult person. That’s mad. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

Mr Taiwo said, again, his client was no aware he was not supposed to carry knives in public – only that he shouldn’t threaten someone with the blade or brandish it.

Siwko was squatting with various people around the Trowbridge area. He had lost his job shortly before the coronavirus pandemic.

Appearing before the court via video link from Melksham police station, Siwko, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to trespassing on the railway, possession of a knife and possession of cannabis.

Through an interpreter, he told the court: “Arrest me or shoot me. I’ve had enough, shoot me in the head.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Swindon Magistrates' Court Picture: DAVE COX

The judge imposed a 12 week prison sentence suspended for a year. District Judge Joanna Dickens told him: “You’re lucky to be alive. You’re lucky that no one was killed or seriously injured on that railway. And you’re lucky not to have been charge with a much more serious offence.”

Summarising the case against Siwko, she said: “The evidence is that you were cycling along a railway track. Cycling along a railway track is mad. It’s the sort of thing that even teenagers do not do. I don’t understand why you did it.

“When you were stopped you had a knife. I’m told that you didn’t know that having a knife was illegal – was not lawful in the UK. I am told that you had no reason for having that knife. But, of course, you pleaded guilty to it. I am told that you lost work before covid and that you live in the UK without working.

“I am told that it is very difficult for you to do work with probation for three reasons. One, because you have no address. Two, because everything’s on the phone and you cannot translate on the phone. And three, because there is no unpaid work available. So, practically speaking, there is nothing that probation can offer you.”

The judge added: “Possession of a knife is very serious. It’s serious because people can die when people take knives out. You’ve got no reason why you had the knife. I don’t believe that you didn’t know the law in the UK. I don’t believe that, but at the end of the day in any case ignorance of the law is not a defence.”

A victim surcharge payment was deemed paid by time served in the police cells.