Govia Thameslink fined £1million after East Grinstead man dies from sticking his head out of a moving train

Govia Thameslink has been fined £1million after a man from East Grinstead died from sticking his head out of a moving train.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 3:12 pm
Simon Brown from East Grinstead
Simon Brown from East Grinstead

Simon Brown, 24, died after his head struck a signal gantry near Balham, in London, while travelling on the Gatwick Express in August 2016.

At his inquest, held at Westminster Coroner’s Court in July 2017, the court heard that the guard’s window, where Mr Brown was stood, was one of just two on the entire train which could open, despite the trains operating without guards.

The window was not meant for public use - but there was public access to it and it was already open by the time Mr Brown got to it, the inquest heard.

Simon Brown from East Grinstead

The fine was imposed because the warning sticker on the door was cluttered with other notices, Southwark Crown Court heard recently.

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink said it had pleaded guilty to the health and safety failings at the earliest opportunity.

They added that the trains with this style of window were no longer in use.

Chief executive Patrick Verwer said: "I am very sorry for the death of Mr Brown and the deep distress this tragic loss has caused his family and friends."

Mr Brown was described by his family at the time as a 'train fanatic' and spent his youth volunteering at the Bluebell Railway.