Smoke stirs passengers unmoved by public sex

THE EXPLOITS of a couple on a day away to Margate proves that there are limits to what British passengers are prepared to endure on public transport.

A magistrates court heard yesterday that two Sainsbury's superstore staff, on a works trip to the seaside, apparently performed oral sex in a first-class British Rail carriage on the way back to London.

At the end of the hot and humid bank holiday, John Henderson, 29, and Zoe D'Arcy, 19, were spotted mid-act by a woman who boarded with her children at Whitstable.

But Outraged of Whitstable provided only the briefest of distractions. Minutes after Mr Henderson's trousers had been zipped up, he and his companion were at it again. Full sex eventually took place in a crowded and strangely silent second-class compartment.

Witnesses on the 9.30pm from Margate to Victoria reported seeing Miss D'Arcy come back from the toilet minus her jeans, sit on Mr Henderson's lap and 'perform full sexual intercourse'.

But they were allowed to complete the act unchallenged. Only when they indulged in a relaxing post-coital cigarette did British restraint finally crack.

'It was only on their action in lighting up the cigarettes that the witnesses actually came up to them and complained about their behaviour,' explained Nazir Afzal, for the prosecution. They had continued smoking and witnesses reported them to a guard who radioed to police at Victoria.

Yesterday, Mr Henderson, of Pimlico, central London, and Miss D'Arcy, of Hanwell, west London, stood side by side before the bench. They pleaded guilty to committing an indecent act on the train on 25 May. They also admitted lighting a cigarette in a no- smoking carriage.

At Horseferry Road court, Mr Henderson admitted: 'We did have a few drinks at Margate' and apologised for his and his partner's 'actions'.

Roger Davies, the magistrate, said: 'It is pretty offensive behaviour, isn't it? I am surprised you can't restrain yourselves.' Each was fined pounds 50 with pounds 25 costs.

Outside, the couple, who both work at Sainsbury's warehouse in Ealing, west London, refused to comment. After a difference of opinion with a press photographer, a tetchy Mr Henderson said: 'Print what you like.'