Much-loved teacher’s death remains a mystery

IPSWICH: The tragic tale of a teacher who lost his life on a railway line in Ipswich remains shrouded in mystery today, an inquest has heard.

Nathan Hall’s body was found by two track workers at around 5am on Sunday, January 24 near to the Halifax junction and Bourne Park.

The English teacher, who worked at Westbourne Sports College, sustained “severe head injuries,” just two days after his 32nd birthday.

But despite thorough investigations carried out by British Transport Police no evidence has been found to suggest he was hit by a train.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean recorded an open verdict at the inquest into Mr Hall’s death, held yesterday at Ip-City in Hawes Street, Ipswich.

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He said at the time of his death the 32-year-old, of Christchurch Street, was around three-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit at 284 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit for drink driving is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres.

During the BTP investigation the final two trains of the evening passing through the area were examined as well as all those in the Colchester depot for evidence they may have hit Mr Hall.

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Examinations of rail track maintenance equipment being used shortly before Mr Hall’s body was discovered also proved negative.

Dr Dean said there appears to be no real reason for Mr Hall to have been on the railway track on the day of his death.

He said Mr Hall’s brother, in Canada, had given a statement explaining Nathan had “walked the tracks” when he was younger to take time out to think when he was living in his native Canada.

Dr Dean said: “There seem to be an unexplained set of circumstances in respect of his death itself.

“There is no expression of any intention to take his own life.

“In the absence of evidence of intent, where he understood and intended the consequences of his actions, it remains only a possibility he took his own life.

“There is also the possibility this was a tragic accident, he may have gone there to go for a walk and contemplate matters as his brother has described.

“With the raised alcohol level he could have fallen or stumbled and could have been struck by a train.

“There is no physical evidence anyone else was involved. This is a situation where we really do not have answers as to how this happened.”

Mr Hall moved to the UK from his native Canada in 2006, taking up his position at Westbourne Sports College in August of that year.

Paying tribute at the time of his son’s death Dick Hall, who lives in Canada, said he had lost his “best friend.”

He remembered his son’s “glimpses of greatness,” his passions for music, poetry, running and travelling.

He said: “I miss him, I needed him for longer.”

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