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Inquest opens on teenager who was hit by train in Sheppey

A coroner has opened the inquest into the death of a teenager who died after being hit by a train .

Ellis Murphy-Richards, 15, fell from a railway bridge on the Isle of Sheppey on Wednesday, September 30, after visiting a mental health counsellor in Sheerness .

Ellis Murphy-Richards,15, who died on Wednesday, October 30
Ellis Murphy-Richards,15, who died on Wednesday, October 30

He had been living with his grandmother in Faversham although his mother Natasha Murphy, 33, lives in Epps Road, Sittingbourne .

His mother and a family friend attended the Maidstone inquest on Wednesdaymorning by video link.

Coroner Ian Brownhill heard that Ellis, who would have turned 16 on November 5, had been pronounced dead at the scene and was identified by police.

The inquest was adjourned and will be reopened on February 2 next year at the Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone.

Ellis was born in Canterbury and had attended Highsted Girls Grammar School in Sittingbourne and most recently the Oasis Academy on Sheppey. He had been awaiting a place at a school in Canterbury.

Floral tributes and a 16th birthday balloon left for Ellis on the pedestrian bridge
Floral tributes and a 16th birthday balloon left for Ellis on the pedestrian bridge

He was also a member of West Faversham Community Centre in Bysing Wood Road.

Ria Messenger, a support worker at the centre who knew him for three years, said: "He was funny, danced quite a lot and sang very well. He was active on TikTok, and liked to tell everybody.

"He had a good group of friends who always looked out for him. Everyone was absolutely devastated - it came out of nowhere. We wish that we could have done more to support him but with mental health it's such a difficult subject."

She added: "Everyone loved him. He was a performer. He was very loving because he cared; when somebody else was upset, he always wanted to make sure they were okay before him.

"He played such a big part in his friends' lives that it's going to leave a great hole."

Ellis Murphy-Richards with his mum Natasha
Ellis Murphy-Richards with his mum Natasha

She said they saw him the day before his death. She said: "He was in a low mood but we managed to get a smile out of him."

The tragedy happened around 4pm as a train carrying Sheppey school children from Sittingbourne back to Sheerness was passing. The power was cut to the track as emergency services raced to the scene. Passengers were kept on board the carriages for two hours until the train could be moved.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time or click here to visit the website .

If you want to talk to someone confidentially, click here .

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