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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Teenager jailed for manslaughter
A teenager has been jailed for killing a rail guard who died trying to put out a fire started by the youth.

Karl Lacey, 18, of Oaks Road, Kenley, Surrey, set fire to cushions and newspapers on a South Central train in July 2002, the Old Bailey heard.

Lacey, who was convicted in May after denying the offence, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Philip Cable, 60, who had been overcome by fumes.

On Friday, he was ordered to serve four years' youth custody.

You caused the death of a brave man whose devotion to duty in putting out the fire cost him his life
Judge David Paget

Lacey, who was 16 at the time, started the blaze at about 2320 BST on 5 July 2002, while travelling from Whyteleafe to Kenley on a train run by South Central, which is now known as Southern.

Smoke was seen billowing from the windows of the train as it pulled into Purley, after Lacey had got off, the court heard.

Mr Cable helped the train driver and another guard to put out the blaze but he suffered an asthma attack after inhaling fumes from the burning cushions.

He was told to return to the station office, where he collapsed, and died a few hours later.

CCTV footage

The youth was arrested after his mother, Joanne, telephoned police when CCTV images of Lacey were released in the media.

Lacey claimed the fire was started by another passenger who had also got off the train at Kenley, but CCTV footage showed he had been the only one to leave the train.

Judge David Paget told Lacey: "To start a fire on a train is extremely serious, reckless and irresponsible.

"You caused the death of a brave man whose devotion to duty in putting out the fire cost him his life."

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