London

Rail electrocution: Copper cable theft brothers jailed

Two brothers have been jailed for their part in the theft of copper cable from a railway line in south London which went "disastrously wrong".

The body of James Smith, 28, was found outside the substation in Penge last December after a tip-off.

John Tusting, 26, and Jason Tusting, 23, both of south-east London, were jailed for burglary and criminal damage recklessly endangering life.

Jason Tusting was also jailed for perverting the course of justice.

British Transport Police (BTP), which investigated the death, later found out that Mr Smith, 28, from Catford, south London, had broken into the substation along with the two brothers but the burglary went "disastrously wrong".

DNA traces

Blackfriars Crown Court was told that ambulance control received an anonymous call from a man who later turned out to be Jason Tusting saying he was Sydenham rail station and that a man had been electrocuted near the track.

Officers who went to the station called Mr Tusting back and he agreed to return and help them.

Mr Smith's body was later discovered outside the substation following a number of trackside searches.

DNA traces on his lips indicated Jason Tusting had attempted to revive him before leaving the scene with his brother, who received a serious electrical burn to an arm.

Detectives later spoke to one of the brothers' relatives and the pair were arrested, the court was told.

The court heard that just three hours after Mr Smith's death the brothers had sold the copper to a scrap dealer in Peckham.

John Tusting, of Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, was jailed for four years, and his brother, of Brockley Mews, Honor Oak, for four years and eight months.

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