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Inquest hears depressed Marcel Geraghty committed suicide by running in front of train near West Malling railway station

By Claire McWethy

A troubled 61-year-old who ran into the path of a train had told a psychiatrist of his plan to kill himself that way, an inquest heard.

Marcel Geraghty died after going onto the tracks at the Ryarsh Lane foot crossing, just outside West Malling railway station on August 13.

At an inquest into his death at County Hall, Maidstone, a coroner heard how Mr Geraghty struggled with bipolar disorder and had a history of alcoholism.

Marcel Geraghty committed suicide on a railway foot crossing
Marcel Geraghty committed suicide on a railway foot crossing

Giving evidence was Roy Hollowday, who was driving the 8.07am train from London Victoria to Ashford when he saw someone hesitating on the tracks.

But after sounding his horn and braking hard he said the man began running towards the train with his arms in the air and deliberately jumped into its path.

"He seemed in really quite a good place, so what happened was absolutely unexpected..." - Rev Pam Rink

Passengers were kept on the train for two hours while British Transport Police carried out their investigations.

Mr Geraghty had been living at The Pilsdon at Malling Community in Water Lane, a refuge for people in crisis just half-a-mile from the railway crossing, but had regular visits from a mental health social worker.

Between 2011 and 2013 he had lived in supported accommodation in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, and had also briefly admitted himself to Priority House mental health clinic in Hermitage Lane.

The coroner heard how Mr Geraghty had been worried about his deteriorating health – including a small stroke the month before he died – and that he had taken an overdose the previous year because he was depressed about turning 60.

While in hospital he told a psychiatrist he had thought about jumping in front of a train, then changed his mind.

The fatality happened on the tracks near Ryash Lane, West Malling
The fatality happened on the tracks near Ryash Lane, West Malling

But the Rev Pam Rink, guardian of the Pilsdon at Malling Community, said Mr Geraghty had seemed in better spirits in the days before his death.

She said: "He seemed in really quite a good place, so what happened was absolutely unexpected."

Assistant coroner for Mid-Kent and Medway, Ian Wade, said he was satisfied Mr Geraghty intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.

If something is troubling you, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.


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