Monday, August 10, 2009

An apology from the Sun

The original article, published on the 27th of January 2005 (now removed from their web site):

Gollum Joker Rail Horror

LORD Of The Rings fan Julian Brooker was electrocuted on a rail line while imitating his favourite character Gollum.

The 23-year-old scampered about on all fours like the 4ft hobbit and then pretended to touch a live track to impress his boozy friends.

But Julian accidentally DID touch the 750-volt third rail.

His horrified pals watched as a bolt of electricity blew him 15ft in the air and turned into a fireball.

Tragedy struck after he and pals spent a night drinking on the beach near his Brighton home on October 23 last year.
Friend Eva Natasha wept as she told an inquest how they went to London Road station at 4am and began playing “the Gollum game”.

She described how sales assistant Julian clambered from the platform on to the line.

She said: “He touched a rail and pretended to be electrocuted. I didn’t find it funny, but assumed he knew what he was doing.

“Then he touched the live rail once. He wouldn’t have touched it if he had known it was live.”

Locals heard Julian’s pals screaming and dialled 999 but he was certified dead at the scene.

Yesterday’s hearing was told Julian often got on all fours and pretended he was the evil character from the hit movie trilogy.

Tragic … Julian

Mum Vivienne Chauhan said: “It was a game from Lord Of The Rings. He was always larking about. He’d do it in the house and say he was ‘off creeping’.”

East Sussex coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley was also told Brooker was a keen numerologist obsessed with the number 23 and went drinking on that date every month.

Verdict: Accidental death.

But apparently this wasn't entirely accurate...

IN an article published on The Sun website on January 27 under the headline ?Gollum joker killed in live rail horror’ we incorrectly stated that Julian Brooker, 23, of Brighton, was blown 15ft into the air after accidentally touching a live railway line. His parents have asked us to make clear he was not turned into a fireball, was not obsessed with the number 23 and didn’t go drinking on that date every month.

Julian’s mother did not say, during or after the inquest, her son often got on all fours creeping around their house pretending to be Gollum.
Also, quotes from a witness should have been attributed to Gemma Costin not Eva Natasha. We apologise for the distress this has caused Julian’s family and friends

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