Liverpool

Guard denies causing woman's fall at Merseyrail station

Hamilton Square station Image copyright William Starkey/Geograph
Image caption Ms Atherton fell from the platform at Hamilton Square station

An elderly woman fell on to a railway track after a guard failed to check all passengers had boarded safely before closing the doors, a court has heard.

Edna Atherton was 88 when she fell from the platform suffering broken ribs and a cut head at Birkenhead's Hamilton Square station in July 2015.

She had tried to board by holding on to the doors when a warning alarm sounded, the jury was told on Tuesday.

Martin Zee denies being responsible for her injuries at Liverpool Crown Court.

The 33-year-old, of Coronation Road, Runcorn, Cheshire pleaded not guilty to a charge of endangering the safety of railway passengers by wilful omission or neglect.

'Blind spots'

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the moment the train arrived at the station.

It showed Mr Zee leaving the back of the train and walking to the wall of the platform to check all the passengers had got off and on the carriages.

After Mr Zee pushed the button to close the doors, two women can be seen trying to board the front of the train - as the doors were reopened and closed, one of them fell between the train and the platform.

Prosecuting, Rebecca Smith said Mr Zee had not followed all the steps of Merseyrail's door closure safety procedure.

Defence barrister Neil Fitzgibbon told the jury Mr Zee had not seen Ms Atherton because of "blind spots" on the platform and CCTV monitors.

He told the court it had simply been "a terrible accident".

Mr Zee's defence told the court on Wednesday that he did not see Mrs Atherton as he had to turn away from a monitor to close the doors behind another passenger who had arrived just before her.

When Mrs Atherton fell, the guard ran to help and made sure the electric current was off on the track, the court heard.

The case continues.

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