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Paul Butters' suicide not linked to railway death of daughter Taiyah Peebles

By Jodie Nesling

The suicide of a man just weeks after his daughter died on train tracks was not linked to the railway tragedy, an inquest has been told.

Paul Butters, 37, was found dead at home in Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate on August 27 - one month after 16-year-old Tayiah Peebles was tragically electrocuted on railway tracks near Herne Bay.

An inquest heard, the talented musician was already taking medication for depression before Taiyah died.

Paul Butters - the father of rail death teenager Taiyah Peebles
Paul Butters - the father of rail death teenager Taiyah Peebles

Mr Butters had not seen the former Hartsdown Academy pupil since she was four years old following the breakdown of the relationship his former partner, Hayley Peebles.

He had many friends in Ramsgate and was one of five children.

In a statement, read by assistant coroner James Dillion, his mother Cassandra Powell, said her son was highly intelligent and musically gifted but struggled with maintaining close relationships.

She said: "He had lots of girlfriends but struggled to keep them; he may have had autism.[...] He was very close to his sister; when he was living at home he was a mother's boy and his sisters looked after him."

Despite being subjected to bullying at Newington School Mr Butters was academically gifted and attended Chatham House then Canterbury College to study art.

Taiyah Peebles
Taiyah Peebles

After a spell in London he returned home to Ramsgate but his mental health had deteriorated.

Following Taiyah's death British Transport Police requested police make a welfare check on Mr Butters, fearing for his wellbeing.

On August 3 a friend of Mr Butters's, Chris Wilson, opened the door and told police he was not concerned and they had gone out for beers in the afternoon.

Later that evening Mr Butters expressed annoyance at being visited by police but there was no great cause for alarm.

There had been instances where he had become very stressed with work, taking time off and suffering with anxiety and he was advised to seek help.

Flatmate Dean Stalham, who found Mr Butters, said his death was out of the blue. Giving evidence, he said: "I had no idea he had a daughter or that he was on medication.

"I had only known him for three months but we would talk about music. He was a talented guitarist and was ordering equipment online."

Detective Inspector Sheena Burrell confirmed to the assistant coroner there was "no evidence that Paul's death was connected to the death of his daughter".

Tributes poured in following the death of Mr Butters and there was a fundraiser held at the Ravensgate Arms to raise money for mental health charities.

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