A verbally abusive cyclist who narrowly avoided death by lifting his bike over a railway crossing barrier and trying to cross the tracks has been caught.

George Caraska, 49, of Heath Road, Twickenham, left the train driver approaching the North Sheen level crossing on May 11 with “psychological trauma”, a court heard.

The incident was filmed and Caraska was heard shouting “I don’t f***ing care” at concerned witnesses.

He had nearly got to the tracks before the train went by, narrowly missing him, and after gestured angrily at the train as it went past.

Caraska pleaded guilty via video link from Wandsworth Prison at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (January 30) to breaking one railway bye-law, one count of malicious damage, and one public order offence.

He was summoned via postal requisition last October but failed to appear.

Crimestoppers, who said witnesses had pleaded with the cyclist to wait, offered a £2,000 reward to find him at the time.

Caraska was ordered to pay fines and a victim surcharge, totalling £130.

British Transport Police assistant chief constable Robin Smith said: “This has to rank as one of the most stupid, arrogant and dangerous things I’ve seen in my entire police service.

“Fortunately, Caraska was caught on camera and widely shared on social media by members of the public who were as horrified by his actions as we were.

“Disobeying a safety notice on the railway and obstructing a train is a serious matter and could have resulted in death or injury to the train driver, passengers, Caraska himself and massive disruption and cost to the rail network. Not forgetting of course it would be left to my staff and busy emergency services to deal with the aftermath.

“I’m really pleased BTP officers have put this man before the courts.

“Their tenacity shows we are, and always will be, relentless in tracking down anyone who puts public safety at risk.

“Notices and barriers are there for a reason and anyone with a molecule of common sense knows that.

“Regrettably in Caraska’s case, common sense isn’t all that common.”