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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Four Young Soccer Stars Could Face Manslaughter Charges Over Death of a Student at Earl's Court Station"

Soccer stars face killing charge over Vietnamese student
Daily Mail - Last updated at 14:30pm on 6th March 2007

Four young soccer stars could face manslaughter charges over the death of a student at Earl's Court station.

Vu Quang Hoang Tu, 25, a Vietnamese architect studying for a master's degree, died under a train after falling on to the tracks.

He was allegedly knocked off a crowded platform while a group of Queens Park Rangers youth players were 'mucking about' as they returned from a training session.

British Transport Police arrested four youths - two aged 16 and two 17-year-olds - and submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service last week.

Lawyers will decide this month whether to bring manslaughter charges. If it goes to court, a jury would have to decide if their behaviour was 'reckless' and caused the death.

Among those facing charges is midfielder Harry Smart, 17, who suffered a fractured skull and punctured artery in his leg after falling on to the trackswith Mr Vu.

All four teenagers were part of an 'exceptionally talented' youth team at QPR.

One 15-year-old player was last month sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £2 million.

Another former teammate was teenager Kiyan Prince, who was stabbed to death outside a school last year.

Smart, described as a 'model apprentice' by the club, was a spokesman for the team at his funeral.

The Earl's Court tragedy happened during rush hour in November on the eastbound Piccadilly line platform. Detectives seized CCTV footage and have interviewed dozens of witnesses.

A CPS spokesman said: "We have received a file from police asking for advice and we are reviewing it at the moment. No decision has been reached."

Mr Vu, who lived in Wood Green, was studying at Kingston University. His parents invested their life savings of £13,000 to send him to London in the hope he could later provide for the family.

He had followed a childhood dream to come to London to study architecture after falling in love with the design of Tower Bridge.

His tutors said he was an 'exceptional' young architect with 'glowing credentials'. He spent his spare time drawing London buildings.

His father Vu Quang Tam said: "It took us all our working lives to save up this money - more than 30 years of savings. We have no money left to spend on our second son." Daily Mail

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