Stranger pushed woman from pier to her death for ‘a bit of fun’ after ‘few cans’

A court has found a man guilty of killing a stranger after he pushed her off a pier for a “bit of fun” after drinking "a few cans".

Charmaine O'Donnell was enjoying some time out and about with a friend last year when she was pushed by Jacob Foster, 29.

The Glasgow woman plunged to her death from Helensburgh Pier, Scotland. The 25-year-old charity worker’s cause of death was drowning and severe neck injuries.

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Following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Foster, who has a learning disability, was convicted of culpable homicide.

Charmaine’s killer was spared accusations of murder because his lawyer lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility due to his learning disability,GlasgowLivereported.

From Helensburgh, Foster will now see his bail continue until September when he will be sentenced.

Charmaine had travelled with her pal Caitlin McTaggart to Helensburgh on April 23, 2021, for a day out.

Speaking in court she said: "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."

She described youngsters on the pier jumping into the water while she and Charmaine chatted to some fishermen.

Becoming aware of a commotion she said she realised someone had gone over the edge of the pier, and said she was then told by someone nearby "that's your pal".

The young people who had been jumping in tried to help.

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

"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'," she responded.

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

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"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’s defence lawyer Sean Templeton said: "It was a young man with learning difficulties who got it wrong."

Once the verdict had been made, it emerged that Foster had a number of convictions following an assault made in Helensburgh in 2018 in a Costa Coffee.


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