A TRAIN conductor was spat on by a fare dodger at Littlehaven railway station.
British Transport Police (BTP) have now released CCTV images of people they want to speak to in connection with the incident, which happened at 3.45pm on Sunday July 10.
A statement from BTP said: “A Southern train conductor asked two men and a woman, who had boarded at Ifield, to leave the train at the next stop because they did not have tickets to travel.
“The group verbally abused the conductor as they left the train at Littlehaven, before one of the men spat at him, with the spittle landing on his shirt.
“The quick-thinking conductor was able to retain the spittle using a DNA kit, which train staff carry with them.
“The sample has been provided to BTP and will be sent for analysis.”
Investigating officer PC Paul Gardner said: “We’re following a number of leads to try and get names for this group and want to hear from anyone who recognises them.
“Although the victim wasn’t physically injured, this degrading and unnecessary assault left him shaken and we are determined to catch the man responsible.
“Why he felt he had the right to spit at someone who was simply trying to do their job is inconceivable.
“Everyone has the right to go to work and carry out their duty without fear of this type of vile assault.
“If you recognise the men or woman pictured, or have any information that could assist my investigation, I’d like to hear from you.”
A spokesperson for Southern said: “This assault on our conductor is an abhorrent crime.
“He was just doing his job and was acting correctly and responsibly.
“No-one should have to go about their job fearing assaults such as this and we would urge anyone who recognises the people in the photographs to contact BTP.”
Anyone with information about the incident can contact BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 and quote reference B5/LSA of 10/08/11, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.