Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

River Thames pleasure boat mate jailed for manslaughter

A pleasure boat crewman has been jailed for 15 months after he admitted causing the death of a passenger.

Jay Murillo, 32, of Southwark, London, was getting off the Hurlingham when he fell through a gap in August 2008. His body was found five days later.

Ryan Sandall, 25, from Victoria Dock, east London, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter through gross negligence.

He failed to secure the boat properly when it reached Westminster Pier on the River Thames, the Old Bailey heard.

'Highly qualified'

Sentencing, Judge Paul Worsley said the ship's mate had used one rope instead of the standard two ropes to secure the pleasure boat.

Sandall had also left passengers to disembark by themselves.

The court was told that staff had been attending a party on the boat.

The judge told Sandall: "You were highly qualified. You knew risks cannot be taken on the water with members of the public."

Last week the boat's captain William Britton, 62, of Sidcup, south-east London, was cleared of the charge of manslaughter.

But he was given a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.



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