Wednesday 23 October 2019

Woman (28) died from head injuries after leaning out train window

Undated handout photo courtesy of Cardiff School of Journalism of Bethan Roper, 28, from Penarth, South Wales, who died from serious head injuries suffered on a train between Bath and Keynsham on December 1. Photo: Cardiff School of Journalism/PA Wire
Undated handout photo courtesy of Cardiff School of Journalism of Bethan Roper, 28, from Penarth, South Wales, who died from serious head injuries suffered on a train between Bath and Keynsham on December 1. Photo: Cardiff School of Journalism/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A woman who died from serious head injuries suffered on a train was a charity worker returning from a Christmas shopping trip with friends.

Bethan Roper, 28, was killed on the Bristol Temple Meads-bound service on December 1. Police believe her injuries were caused when she leaned out of a train window.

The charity worker and chair of a young socialist group was returning to her home in South Wales after spending the day at Bath's Christmas Market with friends when she suffered the fatal blow to her head.

British Transport Police said its initial inquiries suggested Miss Roper may have been leaning out of a carriage window at the time.

A spokesman for BTP said a day after the incident: "We were called at around 10.10pm following a report a woman had received serious head injuries while travelling on a train between Bath and Keynsham.

"Officers from British Transport Police attended along with colleagues from Avon and Somerset Police and South Western Ambulance Service, but despite their best efforts the woman died at the scene.

"Our investigation remains at an early stage, but initial inquiries suggest the woman may have been leaning out of a window when she suffered a blow to the head."

The spokesman said the incident was reported to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, and that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

An inquest into her death is yet to open at Avon Coroner's Court in Bristol.

Miss Roper, from Penarth, South Wales, was working for the Welsh Refugee Council at the time of her death, having graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2013.

The charity, a sister organisation to the UK-wide Refugee Council, works to help asylum seekers and refugees in Wales.

She was also a campaigner and chairman of Young Socialists Cardiff, and gave a speech in Cardiff earlier this year arguing asylum seekers' right to work and receive education were being ignored by the UK government.

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