Emma West was only arrested when My Tram Experience footage broadcast on YouTube
A WOMAN accused of a racist rant was questioned by transport police at the time – but only arrested when the 'My Tram Experience' footage was viewed by millions on YouTube.
The video of Emma West, 34, apparently racially abusing black, Asian and Polish passengers while holding her four-year-old son was watched by more than 2.2 million people after it was posted on the video sharing website.
The mother of two, from Grenville Road in New Addington, was subsequently arrested and charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.
Close friend Kerry Finch told the Advertiser how the British Transport Police (BTP) were made aware of the alleged tirade at the time of the incident, which is believed to have happened three weeks ago on a tram travelling between Wimbledon and New Addington.
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Officers took her off the tram and waited with her for another one.
They then travelled back to New Addington on the tram with her, to meet her waiting husband.
West was only arrested after the video, taken by another passenger, was posted online on Sunday.
Miss Finch said: "The way the police have handled the situation is really poor.
"They were fully aware of what had happened at the time but they only decided to arrest her when everyone kicked up a fuss."
A BTP spokesman said it remained unclear when the incident took place and, therefore, whether anyone had reported it at the time.
Miss Finch, 31, has also told how West went to see a therapist at the Tamworth Road Resource Centre, in West Croydon, two days after being released from a psychiatric ward in Foxley Lane, Purley.
Croydon Magistrates' Court heard on Tuesday that West has suffered from depression since she was 18.
David Ewings, defending, told the court that she had been admitted to the psychiatric ward in September.
Police asked YouTube to remove the video, following West's arrest on Monday.
Wearing a white Adidas tracksuit top, West appeared visibly distressed throughout the hearing at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
She has yet to enter a plea and was remanded in custody while psychiatric reports are prepared.
West is due to appear before Croydon Magistrates' Court again on December 6.