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Kind university student who died at Hildenborough Railway Station was 'over-critical' of himself

A university student who died when he walked in front of an oncoming train was "over-critical" of himself, an inquest has heard.

George Somerset died on Saturday, July 20, at around 8.40pm, when he placed himself on the tracks at Hildenborough Railway Station.

George Somerset, 20, was described as a "kind, loving and thoughtful" man
George Somerset, 20, was described as a "kind, loving and thoughtful" man

All services were suspended in the area for more than an hour between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks following the incident, and trains were also not able to stop at the station the following day until just before 4pm.

A post-mortem revealed his cause of death was from multiple severe injuries.

The 20-year-old was a student at Durham University where he studied modern languages and cultures and was described by his family as a "loving, kind, thoughtful and head strong man".

An inquest at Maidstone's Archbishop's Palace heard how the Hildenborough resident had been suffering with mental health problems for years and became insecure, comparing himself to others.

During the hearing Abi Lewis, from the British Transport Police (BTP), explained that Mr Somerset began a relationship with Antonia Barber earlier this year after meeting at university.

George Somerset died at Hildenborough Railway Station
George Somerset died at Hildenborough Railway Station

In her report Ms Lewis said Mr Somerset was described as "a perfectionist" and had started having suicidal thoughts when he was 13.

She added he had researched methods of suicide after being rejected from Cambridge University.

The inquest also heard how the rower had planned to go visit Chile for a year before his death, and was set to leave on August 1.

Mr Somerset's parents were aware of his mental health issues after being contacted a number of times by Ms Barber and tried to talk to their son who would "brush off talk of his mental health".

She concluded that after viewing CCTV at the station and speaking to the train driver, there were no suspicious circumstances.

George Somerset was a student at Durham University
George Somerset was a student at Durham University

Katie Reynolds, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT), had met and spoke to Mr Somerset once - on the day of his death.

She said he showed signs of "ongoing anxiety and suicidal ideation" and his high aspiration to achieve started when he was at boarding school.

Coroner Roger Hatch concluded the student's death was a result of suicide before expressing his condolences Mr Somerset's parents Henry and Jane.

Following his death Hild Bede Boat Club, based in Durham, set up a fundraising page for their friend with the hopes or raising £3,000 for a single-seated boat they planned to name after him.

A statement on the page said: "In honour of our close friend George Somerset, we are organising a group 24-hour ergathon at the College of St Hild and St Bede in order to raise money for a physical commemoration of George.

George Somerset, third from right, was a keen rower and his Durham club Hild Bede Boat Club set up a fundraiser following his death
George Somerset, third from right, was a keen rower and his Durham club Hild Bede Boat Club set up a fundraiser following his death

"As George was a keen rower this will be in the form of a single seated boat or a seat in HBBC’s new VIII, Lady Penelope.

"Any extra proceeds will be donated to the charity Mind. Before his passing, George was keen to organise a fundraiser for Mind, therefore this is something we would like to do for him in his memory."

It has raised more than £7,700.

For more information on why we cover inquests, click here.

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