A man tried to throw a woman onto the train tracks at New Eltham railway station after she told him she didn’t want to talk to him, a court heard. 

Matthew Griffin, 24, of Russell Close in Crayford, had met the woman a few weeks earlier and they had talked about becoming room mates. 

But a flat viewing was unsuccessful because Griffin told her his previous roommate was also a Nigerian woman and he liked the feel of Nigerian women’s feet, prosecutor Clair Langevad said. 

Around four weeks later, on October 26 last year, the pair met again by chance at New Eltham railway station. 

After a discussion in which the woman told Griffin she didn’t want to speak to him, he tried to drag her onto the train tracks. 

Griffin was jailed for two years and four months after he admitted attempted grievous bodily harm. 

News Shopper: Matthew GriffinMatthew Griffin (Image: BTP)

"Do you want to be on your phone or on the tracks?” 

Griffin appeared at Inner London Crown Court via videolink from HMP Thameside on Tuesday (April 30). 

Prosecutor Ms Langevad outlined the facts of the case. 

The victim, a Nigerian university student, became involved in a discussion with Griffin about him looking for a room mate a couple of weeks before the incident. 

“There was a flat viewing on August 20 but that not successful, because Mr Griffin said his previous tenant was a Nigerian woman and he liked the feel of the feet of Nigerian women,” Ms Langevad said. 

On October 26 at around 9pm the victim left the university campus and went to New Eltham station where she sat on a bench to wait for a train. 

Griffin then sat next to her, saying he was autistic and would like to talk to someone. 

Ms Langevad said: “She told him I do not want to talk to you, please leave me alone and talk to someone else.” 

When she started looking at her phone, Griffin then said: “Do you want to be on your phone or on the tracks.” 

Ms Langevad told the court that Griffin then said: “If you do not leave the station you will be on the tracks.” 

“She decided to get up and walk towards the exit. At this point Mr Griffin lunged at her, grabbed her by the shoulders and started dragging her towards the tracks,” Ms Langevad said. 

A third party intervened and the woman managed to slip out of the coat she was wearing, which Griffin then threw onto the tracks. 

Ms Langevad read a victim impact statement which said the impact on her mental health had been immeasurable. 

“She had flashbacks and felt helpless because of the possibility of that being the end of her life,” Ms Langevad said. 

“She said she’s terrified about the prospect of getting the train especially at night and has considered abandoning her degree and moving back to Nigeria.” 

News Shopper: New Eltham stationNew Eltham station (Image: Street view)

Two years and four months 

Soraya Bauwens, representing Griffin in court, said her client has various mental health issues. 

“There is a clear link between this offending and his mental illness,” she said. 

Ms Bauwens added that he was not in the right frame of mind at the time because the death of a family member and the recent murder of one of his friends. 

Judge Matthew Boyle sentenced Griffin to two years and four months in prison. 

Investigating officer DC Gemma Lee said: “To say this was a terrifying incident is an understatement. The woman was literally fighting for her life as Griffin tried to drag her onto the tracks. 

“The impact of this attack has been immeasurable - she has been mentally scarred from what happened and continues to have flashbacks and panic attacks. 

“Griffin is a dangerous individual who is now behind bars. It is hoped this will provide some comfort to this brave woman and allow her to begin her recovery.”