Had he done so, the accident would not have happened. Rex Features have collated the photos.
Mr James pleaded guilty to a charge of endangering users of the railway but has been unwisely maundering on about 'bad luck', which suggests he was in the habit of doing this and regards it as jolly unfair that he has been held responsible this time.
Sergeant Steve Dawkins, officer in charge at BTP Swansea, said:
“The trailer was made of plate steel but due to the speed of the train and the force of impact, the trailer’s debris was spread over a large area.
“It is astounding that no one was seriously injured or killed in this incident. James’ actions not only put rail staff and passengers’ lives at risk but also caused extensive damage to the train, which could easily have resulted in derailment.
“Crossings are designed to keep people safe – and, when used correctly, that is exactly what they do.
Arriva Trains has given him an enormous bill for the damage to the train and the consequent loss. He thinks £167k is over-stating it. No, it's very modest and doesn't reflect all the consequent loss for people whose journeys were then disrupted. Whether his professional insurance - if he has any - will cover it is not stated.
He has no idea of how lucky he has been that the damage has been purely economic, that he isn't in prison, and that the court saw fit to give him only a suspended sentence and 200 hours worth of voluntary work.
The court appeared to accept his cock-and-bull story about the second gate swinging shut, trapping the trailer on the line, which sounds plausible until you see the video. Rather more likely is that he opened the first gate, drove over, knowingly parking the trailer on the line, then got out to open the second gate. This version of events is given in some accounts.
The words "delivering hay" do not properly convey the solidity of three circular bales of the stuff at that speed of impact.
H/T Ambush Predator