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Graham Durman: Dad died at Chestfield and Swalecliffe station after Seaview Holiday Park investigation

By Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A dad who was struck by a train was facing questions over irregularities in company finances before he died, an inquest has heard.

Graham Durman, 40, was killed at Chestfield and Swalecliffe station near Whitstable on November 1 when he stepped in front of a train.

Canterbury coroners court heard how, hours before his death, Mr Durman had been surprised by a financial inspection at Seaview Holiday Park.

Graham Durman
Graham Durman

Mr Durman worked as clubhouse manager at the caravan park between Whitstable and Herne Bay, where he also lived.

PC Zoe Wornham, investigating his death, told the court the father-of-one had been “acting normally” at about 9.10am when he visited the office of his boss Vince Marshall.

It was then Mr Durman was told a company director had arrived to carry out a surprise financial audit of the site’s safes - for which he had overall responsibility.

Reading a statement from a Seaview employee, PC Wornham explained: “He asked if he could be given 30 minutes beforehand, because he had a food delivery he wanted to put away.”

But when Mr Durman failed to return, his colleagues went looking for him.

At his caravan, they found his delivery had not been put away, and also discovered part-consumed bottles of alcohol and packets of ibuprofen.

Concerned staff began to search the area.

Seeing a number of police officers and emergency response crews at Chestfield and Swalecliffe station, one of his colleagues alerted an officer about concerns for Mr Durman’s welfare and described his appearance.

Emergency services at the scene in November
Emergency services at the scene in November

Fingerprints later identified the deceased man as Mr Durman, while CCTV images and eyewitness accounts from the train driver and other passengers confirmed he appeared to have intentionally stepped in front of the train as it passed through the station.

More than £3,700 was found to be missing from the safe at Seaview when the financial audit was later carried out.

A spokesman for Park Holidays, which owns Seaview, said: “This would have been Graham’s responsibility, but we have no intentions to carry out any further inquiries into this.

“We are not pursuing this matter. We hope the loss of money did not contribute to Graham’s actions.”

Financial investigators from British Transport Police examined Mr Durman’s personal account, but found no suspicious activity.

Police at the scene in November

Mr Durman had not visited a GP since he registered with a doctor in Whitstable two years ago, but medical records show he had a history of depression dating back to 2009.

Mr Durman’s ex-wife Jannine Learoyd, who lives in Swansea with their 10-year-old daughter Grace, described him as “an amazing dad”, but said he had not seemed “his usual happy self” when they last met.

Coroner Ian Goldup, presiding over the inquest, said: “Whilst he doesn’t appear to have communicated his intention to anyone or have left a suicide note, his background of having apparently been not himself, the incident with the surprise financial audit and his divorce, the fact he was on the platform by himself, and the photographic evidence of him jumping - I think there can be no doubt that he meant to kill himself.

"My conclusion is that his death was a suicide.”

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