A WOMAN who trespassed on to live railway lines, risking the lives of police and paramedics who went to save her, has been jailed.

Rebecca Reid ventured on to the tracks at Southampton Central railway station and lay face down.

Rail bosses were forced to stop all trains in and out of the city after she was spotted by a train driver, who reported a body slumped on the ground.

Thousands of passengers were delayed as a dangerous rescue operation to reach her while the tracks were still live was carried out.

Southampton Magistrates Court heard how 12 paramedics and two police officers were involved in the incident, which cost the railway £135,000.

Now the 26-year-old has been sent to prison following the “deeply shocking” incident, which endangered multiple lives.

The court heard how British Transport Police (BTP) were first made aware of a person on the tracks on December 6 by a train driver, who was forced to stop, at around 2.50pm.

Prosecutor David Orman said two officers immediately crossed two lines of tracks, which were still live, to reach Reid, who was found face down on a redundant track.

They were joined by 12 paramedics, who made the same dangerous route across the electrified tracks to Reid, who claimed she had jumped from the bridge in an attempt to kill herself.

She told them she was in pain, especially around her pelvis and her right arm.

The operation to move her took an hour and power to the lines had to be switched off – bringing all rails services in and out of the city to a halt.

Mr Orman told magistrates that after x-rays at Southampton General Hospital no injuries were found and Reid was arrested for trespassing on the tracks.

During her interview at Southampton Central police station Reid repeatedly banged her head on the wall until she was stopped by police, who ended the questioning.

The court heard how Reid had been found on the tracks in the same location less than two months before, having jumped down from some flats and that she had refused to co-operate with mental health services.

In mitigation Michael McGoldrick told the court that whether it was a suicide attempt or a ploy to get off the streets and spend the Christmas period in jail it was a very “sad state of affairs”.

He added that Reid had been homeless for two to three years, had underlying mental health issues, including a significant personality disorder, and had been on a methadone prescription.

Sentencing Reid to 17 weeks in prison for trespassing magistrate Mrs Liz Challand said: “This was a very serious incident, which incurred over £135,000 to the rail service.

“It also incurred 12 paramedics to be called to assist you and two police officers, who all worked in a situation where if they had touched the rail, or you had touched the rail, then one of you would no longer be here to tell the story.”

Speaking after the verdict Sergeant Elwyn Jones, of BTP, said that it was a “deeply shocking” incident that put the lives of BTP officers and paramedics at risk.

He added: “Her actions not only put emergency crews in harm’s way but also caused considerable disruption to rail passengers.

“Network Rail estimated the cost of the incident to the industry at more than £100,000 and this doesn’t include the cost of the numerous police and ambulance units that attended the scene.”