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Canterbury: Niall Bays took his own life after struggling to deal with the death of close friend, an inquest has heard.

By Jodie Nesling

A student took his own life after struggling to deal with the death of close friend, an inquest has heard.

Niall Bays died instantly when he was a struck by a high-speed train at Tonford Lane foot crossing near Chartham Hatch at 10am on May 4.

The Canterbury Christ Church University student made reference to his close friend Alfie Perrin, who died in an industrial accident. In a note left at his house in St Martin’s Road he wrote he had “not been the same” since the accident several years before.

Niall Bays felt like he couldn’t go on, say his family

Niall Bays felt like he couldn’t go on, say his family

Grieving parents Colin and Niamh Bays, said in the months after the tragedy their son did not seek counselling and had not found the time to grieve properly.

The much-loved 21-year-old was in the final year of a politics and international relations degree - he fully embraced university life with socialising and regularly enjoying lectures.

Speaking to the inquest, housemate and friend, Roberto Falzoni, said: “He was a lovely man, jolly and chirpy - he never opened up and that’s why we were left so shocked.”

The pair, who studied on the same course, became good friends after finding out they were both from Enfield and knew some of the same people.

Despite reservations on how Niall was progressing with his dissertation, Mr Falzoni had no other cause for concerns for his friend.

On the night before his death the music lover had enjoyed a friend’s birthday meal returning home at around 9.30pm. Mr Falzoni said he seemed relaxed and sober before going up to his room at around 11pm.

But, in a statement provided to the court, long-term girlfriend Rosie Hopkins said he had become increasingly withdrawn in the days leading up to his death - a loving and very caring person, he suffered with low self-esteem and often struggled to accept praise, preferring to listen to others rather than talk about himself.

Niall was not receiving any medication and did not have any drugs in his system when he died.

Assistant coroner, James Dillon, recorded a suicide verdict at Margate Magistrates’ Court.



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