A MAN caused £3,000 worth of delays on the East Coast Mainline after climbing on to a bridge near Darlington Rail Station and jumping on and off the track.

Cameron McKenna, 23, of Elmfield Road, Darlington, admitted the unusual charge of obstructing the railway, when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard that he climbed on to the bridge at about 1.15am on February 13 last year and appeared to be jumping on and off the track, causing the trains to come to a stop. The police also sealed off the road underneath the bridge.

Police officers found him sat on a 'tiny ledge' while making threats to harm himself. At first he told them to 'f*** off' but after two hours of negotiations they managed to talk him down. He had also threatened them with a metal bar.

The incident caused a 13-minute delay, costing Network Rail an estimated £3,393.

Ben Pegman, mitigating on behalf of McKenna, said officers had been 'extremely patient and skilful' and said the disruption to the network was minimal given the time of night.

He said mental health difficulties, drug use and estrangement from his partner had led McKenna to the bridge that night.

Judge Stephen Ashurst imposed an 18-month community order with unpaid work attached as he congratulated police for their efforts to establish a rapport with McKenna.