Trainee dies in horse race imitation

A TRAINEE barrister has died in a railway accident after imitating the Grand National during post-party revelries.

Ben Showell, 23, who was doing his pupillage at St Philip's chambers in Birmingham, had been participating in a stunt by vaulting fences with the aid of a ladder. It followed a party in Brixton, London, on 10 April – the day of the Grand National, an inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court has heard.

Oxford graduate Showell decided to return to the party along the railway line and was knocked down by a train. He died in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, the following day.

Showell's friend, James O'Riordan, told the inquest: “It was purely just high spirits and because it was the Grand National.”

St Philip's describes him as “an exceptional youngster who was just beginning to enjoy real recognition in his profession”. He was a keen sailor and rugby player and more than 700 people wrote to his parents to express sadness at his death.