Govia Thameslink fined ??1m over passenger killed leaning out of window

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Simon Brown, 24, was killed on Gatwick Express train when his head hit a signal gantry

Simon Brown, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was killed travelling on the Gatwick Express.
Simon Brown, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was killed travelling on a Gatwick Express train in south London. Photograph: Just Giving / Reuben Smith

The train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been fined ??1m after a passenger was killed when he put his head out of a carriage window.

Simon Brown, 24, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, suffered catastrophic injuries when his head hit a signal gantry as he leaned out of a Gatwick Express train travelling at 61mph towards Wandsworth Common station in south London.

GTR, which runs the service, pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach at a previous hearing over Brown???s death on 7 August 2016.

Sentencing the company at Southwark crown court on Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC ordered the firm to pay a ??1m fine. It was also ordered to pay ??52,267 in costs.

Ian Prosser, the Office of Rail and Road???s director of safety and HM chief inspector of railways, said: ???Our thoughts remain with Simon Brown???s family and friends at this particularly difficult time.

???It is to GTR???s credit that they pleaded guilty to the offence and spared the family the pain of a protracted court case. We are also pleased that the court recognised the severity of the offence and reflected that in the sentence passed.

???There are still some trains with droplight windows operating on the network and we have written to operators instructing them to take immediate action to prevent a similar tragedy happening again.???

GTR???s 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.???