Man who died on railway line suffered from depression

Sean Keywood
Monday, September 24, 2012
10:03 AM

An Exmouth man who killed himself on the railway line between Exmouth and Exeter had a history of depression, an inquest has heard.

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Jason Hough, 36, who lived in Exeter Road, died when he was stuck by a train from Exeter at Mudbank Lane at around 11.50pm on February 26.

Mr Hough, a divorced father, died of multiple injuries, and Coroner Elizabeth Earland said his death must have been instant.

The inquest at County Hall heard that Mr Hough, who worked as a care assistant, had suffered a series of depressions, and had been particularly affected by the death of his former housemate Luke Santer on the train tracks at Exeter in 2008.

On the night of Mr Hough’s death, the driver of the last Exeter to Exmouth service of the day said he had heard a rumbling noise from under the train as he drove it from Lympstone to Exmouth, passing a foot crossing for the East Devon Way.

The driver initially believed he had struck a small object such as a traffic cone, but on the return journey to Exeter he slowed down to inspect the track, and discovered Mr Hough’s body.

The inquest also heard witness statements from Mr Hough’s family and friends, many of whom said that although he had been depressed, they had not thought he would take his own life.

Mr Hough was said to have had a history of drug use, but, although a small amount of ecstasy was found in his bloodstream after his death, this was not thought to be a factor in his decision to kill himself.

He had visited his doctor with depression in 2010, and been prescribed anti-depressants, but had not been to see a doctor since August that year, and was not taking prescribed drugs at the time of his death. The inquest also heard that Mr Hough had left a number of notes for family and friends, which the coroner said showed he had decided to end his life.

Dr Earland said: “[Mr Hough] took action following a series of depressions, but intended the consequences of his actions. My verdict is, beyond reasonable doubt, suicide.”

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