Death of depressed St Albans man, Peter Campbell, hit by train at Radlett station was 'suicide'

Death of depressed man hit by train was 'suicide'

Death of depressed man hit by train was 'suicide'

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A 41-year-old father of two who was hit by a train at Radlett station last year has been described as a "perfect son, a supportive brother, and someone people would turn to", an inquest heard on Friday.

Peter Campbell, who lived in Lemsford Road in St Albans with a colleague, died on October 21 after stepping onto the tracks of the Thames Link Line into London while a high speed train was approaching.

Deputy Coroner for Hertfordshire Graham Danbury led an inquest into his death in Hatfield on Friday, January 24, and concluded Mr Campbell took his own life, after suffering from depression.

The father of two had been working in Hatfield since August 2012, and travelling home to Limerick, Ireland, every weekend to see his family.

A statement read out from Katherine Campbell, Mr Campbell’s wife of 14 years, said her husband had been suffering with depression for the past three and a half years.

She said: "He was a perfect son, a supportive brother, and someone people would turn to.

"He was exactly what you would have wanted in a son-in-law. He was loyal, trustworthy and compassionate.

"He was the best uncle in the world and he had a special rapport with all his nieces and nephews and in fact all children in general. He would spend hours playing with them all.

"He was all heart and always put everyone else first and himself last."

Mr Campbell, who worked in IT, saw his wife and children for the final time on the weekend of October 11, when he said he "wanted some peace and quiet after a stressful week at work".

The following weekend, Mr Campbell told work he would be flying home to spend the weekend there. However, he told his wife he was staying in St Albans to prepare for a meeting on Monday.

Terence Hancocks, British Transport Police fatality investigator, told the inquest Mr Campbell, who was wearing business clothes on the day of his death, did not leave a suicide note, and had left his wallet and car keys at home.

The inquest heard that Mr Campbell had worked in a stressful position for 14 years in Ireland but was made redundant in 2011. He tried to create his own business, but spent the following year unemployed.

In August 2012, Mr Campbell got a job in Hatfield after a former colleague from Ireland recommended him. He spent last summer off work as after a period of illness and had returned in September.

The post mortem revealed he died of multiple traumatic injuries, and toxicology found small quantities of prescribed medication for anxiety and depression in his system.

Coroner Graham Danbury said "Clearly there was a background for three and a half years of stress and depression that he was fighting with all of the strength that he had.

"It is significant that he was due to fly home to see him family and was clearly devoted to his family but chose not to when he had the chance to do so.

"The conclusion I draw from that is that he was in one of the dark periods. He clearly had an important and demanding job and gave his all to it but it all became too much for him.

"The evidence makes it clear that what he did was a deliberate act so I record a verdict of suicide.

"I am sure he did it when he was not in his normal frame of mind.

"I conclude he took his own life while suffering from depression. It is a desperately sad way to end a promising life."

Mr Campbell’s children were 12 and 10 at the time of his death. His brothers Glenn and David and sister Ciara travelled from Ireland for the inquest. Mr Campbell’s brother said his parents wanted to extend their sympathy to the train driver and everyone involved.

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