Warning after railway trespassing death in Liverpool

image captionMr Longstaffe fell before the couple were able to daub the graffiti, police said

Police have warned of the dangers of trespassing after a man was killed when he fell through a warehouse roof.

Steven Longstaffe and his girlfriend Megan McAuley broke into railway property in Liverpool on 4 July, to spray graffiti, an inquest heard.

Mr Longstaffe, 22, died as a result of his injuries. Ms McAuley took her own life the following day.

"It was the closest thing to Romeo and Juliet I have experienced in my court," Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello said.

"It is clear from my investigations that Steven and Megan were a special couple and in Megan's view Steven was everything to her."

The couple scaled a 20ft wall and evaded razor wire with the intention of carrying out vandalism on railway line near Sprainger Street, Liverpool, British Transport Police said.

Before they had the chance to daub the graffiti Mr Longstaffe, from Litherland, fell through the warehouse roof. He died in hospital the following day.

Ms McAuley, of Netherton, was found hanging the day after.

Mr Rebello, who oversaw the consecutive inquests at Liverpool Coroner's Court, recorded a verdict of accidental death in relation to Mr Longstaffe, and said Ms McAuley had "died by her own hands".

Mr Rebello added: "This tragic loss of two young lives is devastating not just for family and friends, but also for society. Their lives have ended because of trespass."

'Ongoing concern'

British Transport Police say they are issuing the warning to try to stop a similar tragedy happening in the future.

Det Ch Insp Malcolm McKinnon said: "Graffiti on the railways is an ongoing concern for the public, the police and the railways.

"The railway is a dangerous environment and those trespassing on railway property to commit criminal damage are, as this case has clearly shown, putting their own lives in danger."

He said anyone caught trespassing on the railways would be prosecuted and could face a prison sentence.

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