A RAILWAY guard has been cleared of endangering the safety of an elderly passenger.
Martin Zee, from Runcorn, found himself in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court after an 89-year-old woman fell onto a railway platform and rolled off down the side of a train carriage.
The victim, Edna Atherton, suffered four broken ribs and a laceration to the back of her head.
The Merseyrail guard denied the allegation against him and today a jury unanimously cleared him.
Many of his supporters were present in court and he was applauded after leaving the courtroom.
The incident happened at Hamilton Square station in Birkenhead on July 8, 2015 while the woman and her companion, who was using a walking frame, were boarding a train.
It was alleged that 33-year-old Zee, of Coronation Road, Runcorn, ‘by wilful omission or neglect failed to make proper checks on passengers boarding the train before closing the doors’.
He denied this and the court was told that there was ‘a fundamental failing’ in Merseyrail’s procedure which meant that a guard must turn his back on the platform and CCTV monitors before closing doors.
The jury also heard that there were blind spots at that station because of the curvature of the platform.
Defence barrister Neil Fitzgibbon said that Zee had acted conscientiously with the best of intentions to allow the two passengers to board.
He said: “By his action both before, during and after the accident he demonstrated his due diligence, good old fashioned customer care and this was just a terrible accident.”