Depressed Needham man stood in front of train in dark

Suffolk Coroners Court
Suffolk Coroners Court

A Stowmarket man who became depressed after splitting up with his girlfriend took his own life by standing in front of a train.

Gary West, 32, of Needham Road, died at Haughley Junction when he was struck by a train at 45mph on October 17.

The inquest at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich heard yesterday that Mr West , who did not have a history of depression, had split with his partner two and a half months earlier.

The last time Mr West was seen by his family he seemed withdrawn and had tears in his eyes as he left his sister’s home, his mother Angela West said.

In a statement read to the inquest, train driver Andrew Denny said it was pitch dark and, on seeing a signal in the distance turn green he started to accelerate to about 45mph when he saw a man standing on the track.

Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley said two notes found at Mr West’s home left no doubt as to his intentions.

Mrs West told the inquest that her son, who worked as a yardman, had at times been down since parting company with his partner.

A review following Mr West’s death had recommended installing pointed timbers to make access from a crossing more difficult and ensuring updated Samaritans’ signs were in place.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mr Parsley said the death of Mr West had resulted from him taking positive action by standing in front of the train.