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Maidstone Barracks hero tells how he saved life of 'suicidal woman' at railway station

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A passenger has spoken of how he saved the life of a woman who was reportedly threatening to kill herself at a railway station.

Martin Hephzibah had just finished a game of pool at his local snooker club at around 2pm yesterday and walked down towards Maidstone Barracks to board a train to work.

As he walked down the steps, he spotted a woman sitting on the edge of the platform, looking distressed.

Police and a Network Rail response vehicle were at the station
Police and a Network Rail response vehicle were at the station

The 55-year-old, from Allington, said: "It was really sad, and I could sense something was wrong, so felt compelled to try and help her.

"I've been in a few jobs before caring for the elderly and disabled and I was also a prison custody officer for seven years.

"Firstly I had to try and move her away from the edge, so I had to be quite forceful and said she should come and have a chat with me on the seats on the platform, which I managed to do with the help of a couple of others.

"She didn't say much, just that she wanted to do it, but I was telling her that she was loved and trying to pass on lots of positive thoughts.

"I probably spoke to her for about 10 minutes before the train arrived and we alerted the guard who then called the police."

Martin Hephzibah
Martin Hephzibah

British Transport Police (BTP) officers and a Network Rail response unit van were scrambled to the site to try and get the situation under control.

Mr Hephzibah, who now works at Tesco in Larkfield, added: "She was really very distressed, so I definitely think I saved her life, and I'm just so glad it didn't go the wrong way.

"I'd encourage anyone who sees someone else, not even in a situation like this, but just looking a bit upset to try and go up to them, be friendly and understanding - they might just need someone to talk to."

A spokesman for Southeastern said: "There was some disruption at Maidstone Barracks following reports a suicidal person was in the area.

"We received a report of a distressed passenger at 2.10pm. British Transport Police attended and the situation was resolved by 2.45pm."

A police spokesman added: "BTP officers received a report at 2.11pm on May 31 of a woman in a precious position at Maidstone Barracks station.

"Officers attended alongside paramedics and the woman was subsequently taken to a place of safety."

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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