A teenager from Petersfield has been ordered to pay compensation after damaging a fellow rail passenger’s coat when the bottle of sulphuric acid he was carrying leaked.

The young offender, who we have chosen not to name as he was aged just 16 at the time of the offence, was spotted in a “distressed” state on the platform at Eastleigh station on November 21, 2019.

Southampton Crown Court heard witnesses saw a corrosive substance leaking from his bag and white marks on his coat, describing the teen’s clothes as “disintegrating”.

The teen was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm (GBH), assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), and possessing a weapon capable of discharging a noxious substance.

He admitted to damaging a coat and the train carpet, as well as possession of a weapon. But the more serious GBH and ABH charges were dropped.

Judge Peter Henry sentenced the teen to an 18-month community order, participation in a Thinking Skills programme and a rehabilitation activity, and ordered him to pay £150 compensation for the coat.

Mitigating, John Dyer claimed the teen had no idea what he was carrying was corrosive and that he had been given the substance by others.