Man hit by train at Duffield ‘intended to take his own life’

Derby Coroners Court
Derby Coroners Court

A man killed after being struck by a high-speed passenger train in Duffield had intended to take his own life, an inquest heard.

Paul Hand, 64, died of “multiple injuries” after being hit by the train at Duffield station on November 16, 2015.

An inquest at Derby Coroners’ Court on Thursday heard the father and husband had previously seen his GP to discuss mental health issues, and had been diagnosed with a recurrent depressive disorder.

Assistant coroner Louise Pinder said medical records revealed how in January 2014 he had thought about self harm and suicide, but said that it was “a selfish thing to do”.

On the first day of a new job on November 16 last year, Mr Hand drove to the station, parking his van which contained a note, and purchasing a 24-hour ticket at 12.50pm.

Paul Simmonds, a rail fatality investigation officer for the British Transport Police, said train driver Mr Michallef - who has 23 years’ experience - spotted Mr Hand about 200 yards away. Although not on the edge of the platform, he was “close enough to attract attention”.

The inquest heard how Mr Hand, of Cheadle Close, Littleover, jumped down from the platform and although the driver applied the emergency brake and sounded the horn, the train could not stop in time.

A call was made to the emergency services at 13.35pm and a doctor recorded Mr Hand’s death at 13.48pm.

Mr Hand’s family expressed concern for the driver. Recording a verdict of suicide, Ms Pinder offered her condolences and said the evidence “clearly showed Mr Hand’s intention to take his own life”.

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