A TEENAGER spat at a train conductor and made a gun gesture towards him after an altercation over a ticket.

Bolton magistrates heard how, on May 30 last year, 19-year-old Mpilo Mpofu was travelling to his home in Bromley Cross on the at 7pm train from Manchester Victoria when conductor Dalbir Dhillon asked to see his ticket.

Shazia Aslam, prosecuting, told how Mpofu replied that his phone was charging and the conductor said he would return later.

But when Mr Dhillon approached him again he became aggressive and abusive, telling him "stop f***ing mithering me, I've got a f***ing ticket. I'll knock you out."

When the train pulled into Bolton station the conductor decided to hold the train to allow British Transport Police to deal with Mpofu, who was becoming aggressive towards other passengers.

"The defendant then attempted to board another train service but was prevented by other passengers due to his aggressive behaviour," said Miss Aslam.

Angry Mpofu then approached Mr Dhillon on Platform One and yelled, "why wouldn't you sell me an f***ing ticket?"

Miss Aslam added: "He then got into the face of the complainant and made a gun gesture with his hand while saying, 'If this was outside on the street I would knock you out. I would f***ing kill you."

Mpofu then spat at his victim, hitting him on the cheek and hand and Mr Dhillon thought he was going to be punched.

In a victim statement read to the court Mr Dhillon said he was left shocked and angry after the incident and needed counselling.

"I've genuinely enjoyed my job for the last seven years and still do, but this is the first incident that has made me question whether I wanted to carry on in the job," he stated.

Mpofu, now aged 20 and now of Sportside Avenue, Worsley, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Dhillon.

Martin Pizzey, defending, stressed that Mpofu, who works full time in Stockport and hopes to go to university in September, has never been arrested or cautioned before.

He said that on the day of the assault Mpofu had been busy at work and had no money on him but was intending, as he has done previously, to buy a ticket on the train using Apple Pay, but was not given enough time for his phone to charge adequately. "The guard took the view that he was prevaricating," said Mr Pizzey.

He added that Mpofu recognises that he then behaved in "an unpleasant and despicable manner". However, the defendant has seen the conductor since on the train and has apologised to him.

Magistrates fined Mpofu £150 and ordered him to pay £115 in costs and charges as well as £150 in compensation to his victim.

"Clearly by this incident you have let yourself down," magistrate Mrs Joanne Halliday told him.