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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Vic Rodrick & Sam Elliott-Gibbs

Man who fatally pushed woman off pier for 'bit of fun' is still free after court delay

A man found guilty of killing a stranger after pushing her from a pier for a "bit of fun" is still walking free after a judge said he needed more information.

Jacob Foster, 29, shoved 25-year-old Charmaine O'Donnell into the water last year as she enjoyed a day out with friends.

The charity worker plunged to her death at Helensburgh Pier in Scotland, losing her life due to severe neck injuries and drowning.

Foster, who has a learning disability, was convicted of a culpable homicide following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow in August after originally being charged with murder.

But he is still at liberty after a judge ruled he needed more time before passing sentence, reports Glasgow Live.

Jacob Foster said he pushed the woman "for a bit of fun" (Mike Gibbons)
He is still walking free after a paperwork delay (Mike Gibbons)

After he was convicted of the less serious offence he was allowed to remain on bail.

He was due to be sentenced at the High Court in Livingston on Thursday but judge Lord Fairley was told a social work report into his background was not yet ready, and he was still to be interviewed by a doctor for a further medical report.

The judge said it was "regrettable" that sentencing would be delayed further.

Charmaine, from Glasgow, had gone on a day out to Helensburgh with her friend Caitlin McTaggart on April 23 last year.

Ms McTaggart told jurors: "I had wanted to go the Campsies where there is a waterfall. She said 'no' because she would have ended up in the water basically."

They got chatting to men fishing at the pier while Foster was nearby.

A group of youngsters had also been jumping into the water to swim.

Ms McTaggart recalled suddenly hearing a "commotion", saying "somebody" had gone over the railings at the pier.

She did not initially know who it was, but a person shouted: "That's your pal".

She then peered over and to her horror found Charmaine in the sea. A number of the youngsters there immediately tried to help.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC asked Caitlin: "Did you say anything to Jacob?"

Ms McTaggart said: "I was screaming at him to help her. He just kept saying: 'What have I done? I have taken it too far this time. I am going away for a long time'."

Paramedics and police raced to the scene, but Charmaine did not survive.

Stephen Cairns, 42, was one of the men fishing that day. He remembered Foster shoving Charmaine over the edge.

Mr Prentice asked: "So, with her back to Jacob, who then pushed her with both hands?

Mr Cairns replied: "Yes. It was just carnage after that."

PC Gary Davidson spoke to Foster at the pier after the incident and told jurors: "He said that it was an accident. He said: 'I just pushed her. It was just a bit of fun'.

"He said that he had a few cans that day. I said to him the best thing was to stay calm and not say anything, but he said these things again and again."

Foster added: "I did not know that she could not swim."

Foster's lawyers had claimed that, due to his mental health issues, he had misunderstood an alleged remark Charmaine made about going into the water.

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