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Man hit by train at Haughley took his own life weeks after relationship broke down

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

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A popular Stowmarket man who was struck by a train at Haughley took his own life just weeks after splitting up with his girlfriend.

Gary West, 32, of Needham Road, who worked as a yardman, died as a result of ‘extensive head and chest injuries’ after being hit by a single carriage passenger train on Tuesday, October 17, last year.

At an inquest in Ipswich today, Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley read an incident report by the British Transport Police describing what had happened.

He said that at around 9.45pm, the driver of the 9.17pm Greater Anglia service from Ipswich to Cambridge spotted a hooded figure standing on the tracks with his arms folded close to Bacton Road.

He immediately put on the brakes but there was nothing he could do to stop in time.

Mr Parsley then outlined evidence from Mr West’s mother Angela, who painted a picture of her son’s state of mind before the tragic events of October 17.

He said: “He had become down since August (2017) when his relationship with his girlfriend, who had a daughter, ended.”

The inquest heard the couple had been together since November the year before and that Mr West had grown close to his girlfriend’s little girl. Mr Parsley said it had ‘upset him greatly’ that he could not see her.

“He had been depressed ever since that break-up,” he said.

“His mother and sister were always there for him and tried to help him get over the break-up.”

The inquest heard Mr West had visited his father, mother and sister in the days leading up to the tragedy.

Mr Parsley relayed that during these visits Mr West had been ‘teary’ and had told his mother he ‘felt broken’.

When asked by his mother whether he was ‘going to do anything’ he replied ‘I can’t promise’.

Mr Parsley said two suicide notes, one to his mother and one to his family, had been discovered at his home.

He said although the notes did not specifically say what he planned to do ‘the fact he intended to take his own life was clear from the content’.

Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Following the inquest, Angela West described her son as a ‘very popular, hard-working young man’, who ‘had an awful lot of friends.’

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