Frans Bekker
Frans Bekker admitted to accidentally fracturing his victim's back after sliding off the escalatorFacebook

An RAF flight sergeant who broke a woman's back and left her 15% shorter after accidently knocking into her after sliding down a London Underground escalator has been sentenced.

Frans Bekker, 50, wanted to prove he "could still move" to his friends by sliding down the handrail at Holborn station in central London.

However, Bekker lost control as he slid down the rail and ploughed into three women. One of the women, Linda Soulsby, suffered a fractured vertebra as a result of the "prank that went wrong".

Soulsby was forced to wear a back brace after fracturing the vertebrate in her spinal column – an injury which also left her 15% shorter.

Bekker, of Cardiff, admitted endangering the safety of a person conveyed by railway at Westminster Magistrates Court in April.

He has now been sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and forced to pay £4,000 in compensation to Soulsby.

In a victim's statement read out in court, Soulsby admitted "no anger or bitterness" towards Bekker, but added his "moment of madness" had changed her life forever.

She added: "On the night in question I lay on my back, cold and frightened in A&E, waiting for a scan to see if I was paralysed.

"The accident left me in a fragile mental and physical state and frightened to travel on the underground. If people get too close to me I panic.

"This accident has changed my life. I'm not the person I was. I'm lucky to be walking. A child or a weaker person could have been killed. I have no anger or bitterness. It was a stupid moment of madness that went terribly wrong."