A young man with a history of depression and self-harm jumped in front of a train travelling at 70mph an inquest heard today (Thurs).
His mother Audrey told Bradford Coroner’s Court that he had a difficult childhood aggravated by his parents’ separation in 2004. He was not good at expressing his feelings and tended to bottle things up.
In a statement she said on the night of her son’s death: “He just said he was going to Tesco.
“He seemed a bit edgy that day and just left. He was seen in Tesco but then disappeared for two hours.”
Later she said her partner, Richard, found a noose in his toolbox.
In a statement, his girlfriend Sinead Whitaker said they first met in November 2015.
Initially, she said they enjoyed “really good times and had lots of laughs” but the relationship became more tempestuous and the week before his death she said they had a “massive argument and Niall was arrested.”
Two days before his death they met in Skelmanthorpe and he handed her a four page letter and her “first impression was that it was a suicide letter.”
On Sunday, October 16, she said: “I met him in Huddersfield town centre and we were hugging and kissing. We went to KFC and started eating and chatting.
“He said he had Googled deaths on the railways. I didn’t comment because he had mentioned suicide before. However, the mood was good between us.
“At 8pm I received a phone call from Niall. He said he couldn’t live without me. The phone call went on for a good half an hour.
“I called him back. He said: ‘sorry’. I heard the sound of the horn. I tried calling back but it went to voicemail.
“I did love him and I’m heartbroken about what happened.”
Experienced train driver Keith Hogan said: “As I approached the station I saw a male standing wearing a grey hooded top. He took two steps to the platform edge and jumped.
“At first I thought he was maybe just trying to scare me but it was definitely an intentional act.”
Coroner Martin Fleming said Nial had an “up-and-down" relationship with Sinead Whitaker. On October 12 an argument took place between them which resulted in the police arresting him.
“Thereafter it is clear that he was extremely sorry and made overtures to his girlfriend,” said Mr Fleming. “He gave her a call which expressed his ‘dark thoughts’ to end his life.
“It’s clear that at the time of his death he was in a depressed state with the breakdown of his relationship. Clearly a young man in desperate need of counselling.”
Mr Fleming concluded that he took his own life.
If you’re struggling to cope with mental health issues here are some of the ways you can access help.
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.
Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information. The website is here
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here for the website