The heartbroken mum of a teenager who died when he was hit by a train at Belper train station has described a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission as ‘horrendous’.
Mitchell Rodgers, 16, from Nether Heage, died on the evening of Saturday, March 28, when he climbed down on to the tracks when being pursued by police officers.
Derbyshire Police asked the IPCC to investigate as several police officers had been in contact with Mitchell shortly before his death. The report, published on Friday, found no case to answer.
His distraught mum, Nicola Village, of Bentfield Road, Nether Heage, said: “It was horrendous. I expected a lot of paperwork but it’s 17 pages. It doesn’t tell me anything different from what I already knew. There are no statements from people that were there that night.”
It will be six months on Monday since Mitchell died and Nicola said she was finding it hard to move on: “It’s an absolute nightmare, there’s only one thing I want and I can never get it back. I miss him so much it’s unbelievable.
“If it had been a car chase, the police would have had to back off. Mitchell was 16 and frightened to death - he lost his life 24 days after his 16th birthday. He hadn’t even started his life.”
The report reveals that a 999 call was received from the resident of a property in central Belper, alleging that a group of people were ‘trying to kick his door in’.
It says that at about 9.45pm, Mitchell was stopped and questioned about the incident by two officers in King Street. Mitchell gave a false name and ran off.
A marked police car arrived and a police officer got out and began to pursue Mitchell along the alleyway, next to The Railway pub.
Mitchell made his way towards the railway station where the lead police officer, who shouted ‘police stop’, saw him jump onto the track and cross the rails to the Derby-bound side of the platform.
Mitchell ran along the track in the direction of Derby. The officer saw a fast approaching express train and shouted a warning to get off the track but Mitchell was unable to react in time and was hit by the high speed train. The driver applied the emergency brakes but could not stop in time.
The report states: “The reason why Mitchell Rodgers chose to flee is unclear and open to speculation, as is the decision to take the route that he took to evade the pursuing officers.
“The investigation has found no evidence that the police officers who gave chase to Mitchell influenced the route he took.
“Our investigation found that there was no case to answer for the officers involved. There was nothing to suggest the officers had acted in an unprofessional manner or that they could have in any way prevented this tragic accident.”
The report said the second police officer to arrive on the scene ventured onto the tracks to check to see if Mitchell was injured. He found no sign of him and quickly returned to the safety of the platform.
The British Transport Police then stopped all trains from going through and a search was carried out.
Mitchell’s body was found next to the rail line that leads to Derby.