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Drunk train driver avoids jail after driving train into scaffolding at rail depot – Selhurst, south London

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A Southern trains depot driver, who was found guilty of being drunk whilst in charge of a train, has been sentenced following a BTP investigation.

Joseph McKeraghan, of Worple Road, London, appeared at Central London Magistrates’ Court on 6 January. He was handed a three month prison sentence, suspended for twelve months, a twelve month driving ban, and he was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £890.

On 27 December 2018, McKeraghan was driving a train in Southern’s Selhurst depot in south London. At around 4pm, his train collided with scaffolding ladders, which became tangled under the train, jamming the train and causing damage.

The defendant then failed to remain on duty and provide a formal account of what happened, instead he went home skipping the mandatory breath test following an incident such as this. Police officers from BTP then met him at home, where he answered the door holding a bottle of wine. 

McKeraghan was arrested and at custody, he blew a reading of 38 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. A forensic back calculation was completed, due to the time that had passed since the incident, and it was determined McKeraghan would have been two and a half times over the limit when the collision happened.

The defendant was found guilty in his absence during an earlier hearing. 

Inspector Dan Tanner from British Transport Police, said: “A train driver is a safety critical role and it is frankly shocking that a driver would put themselves and the other rail staff in that depot in danger by being over the limit. McKeraghan has only himself to blame and I hope he reflects on what was a very poor and dangerous decision to make."

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