Five charged with lecturer ‘manslaughter’

FIVE men are to be charged with the manslaughter of a popular York Professor.

The charges come after claims were made that staff at Tiburtina Station were already aware of the deadly walkway hazard at the time of her death.

Claudio Valletti, a passenger travelling through the station that day, said he raised the alarm two hours earlier having nearly fallen down the same hole as Prof Baldwin.

It was on 28 October when Professor Sally Baldwin, 62, died at the Rome train station. She was killed instantly as she stepped onto a walkway and fell through a hole, where five panels had been removed.

After initial investigations, two maintenance engineers were charged with manslaughter. Following further investigations by the Italian Police, three other men have now been charged, also with manslaughter.

The engineers at Tiburtina Station removed the panels in order to perform maintenance work on the walkway. The workers claim the walkway was turned off and barriers were erected around it, in order to prevent passenger access.

“I had just got on the walkway when a piece came away in front of me. I almost went down the hole. I was only saved by a woman behind me grabbing hold of me. I went to the railway police office and told them about it. They went and had a look but said they could find nothing wrong,” Mr Valetti commented.

At the time, a Rome Police spokesperson said “Repair work was going on at the time on the walkway, but it is too early to say whether this was the cause of the woman’s death.”

Another passenger, Vincenzo Practico, suffered severe injuries to his legs trying to save the life of Prof Baldwin. His valiant efforts were rewarded in last month’s Italian New Years honours list, where he was awarded the Golden Medal for Civil Merit.

Prof Bradshaw, colleague of Prof Baldwin, said: “We want to get the money to the railwayman as quickly as possible, so that it is of some help to him.”

A trial date for the men will be announced in the next few weeks.