A Port Kembla woman who ventured onto railway tracks at Unanderra in protest at missing her train walked for almost three kilometres before she was apprehended by police, a court has heard.
Rebecca Louise Case's selfish actions brought South Coast trains to a grinding halt during peak hour on the afternoon of August 31 this year, causing major disruption across the network.
A set of agreed facts tendered to Wollongong Local Court this week revealed Case turned up at Unanderra Railway Station at 4.30pm and became angry when she realised she'd missed her train.
She argued with the station attendant before climbing down onto the railway tracks and beginning to walk northbound towards Coniston.
The driver of a commuter train saw the 36-year-old walking near the Mount Saint Thomas overpass just after 5pm and stopped the locomotive, asking her to get on board, however Case refused and continued walking.
Police arrived near the railway access gate on Edney Lane a short time later and spotted Case about 300 metres away.
They notified rail authorities and all trains in the area were stopped.
Meanwhile, officers followed Case on foot as she ran along the tracks towards Gladstone Avenue.
Police pursued her for 650 metres before she was eventually apprehended near John Street.
When asked why she was on the railway tracks - and away from home in breach of COVID-19 health orders - Case replied "I'm dying, I've got cancer, I don't care about the public health order, I've done it all".
She was charged with going onto and remaining on running lines, not complying with the COVID-19 health order and not wearing a face mask.
In court this week, it was revealed Case had already been fined twice for non-compliance with COVID legislation before the August 31 incident, and she was charged again at the beginning of September after police discovered her away from her home without a reasonable excuse.
Case pleaded guilty to all charges against her, however told the court she had been in a state of distress at the time.
She said a young man had overdosed on drugs where she was living and she had unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him.
"I had a lot going on," she said.
"I was trying to get out of Wollongong."
Magistrate Gabriel Fleming ordered a background report be prepared ahead of Case's sentencing, noting she had prior matters on her record and had suffered bouts of homelessness.
The case was adjourned to December 21 for sentencing.
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