Rail suicide verdict

A TRAIN driver who watched a Jacksdale pensioner lay his head on the track had no chance of stopping in time to avoid a collision, an inquest heard.

John Howarth drove around a bend at 70mph and saw Lawrence Meeson, 72, emerge from bushes beside the line at Codnor Park, the Chesterfield hearing was told.

Mr Howarth said: "I whistled, but he knelt down and put his head on the rail, facing away from the train.

"I whistled again and braked but I had no chance.

"My conductor saw the body come flying out the other end.

"There were children on board and we tried not to alarm them as best we could."

Mr Meeson, a former groundsman and father-of-four, of Albert Avenue died from multiple injuries.

His widow Patricia, said that they married in 1986 and he retired seven-years ago.

Their marriage was a happy one but 12-years-ago he started suffering from "winter depression."

He became very depressed in December 2001 and was prescribed different medication.

Mrs Meeson said her husband had told son Richard to get him a gun on one occasion.

He spent ten weeks in a psychiatric unit last summer and had day care treatment following his discharge when he seemed more relaxed.

Mrs Meeson said she returned home from work at 6.20am on August 12 and went to bed.

Her husband got up at 10am, kissed her and he told her: "I'll see you later."

She was informed of his death a few hours later and found a note he had left on a kitchen worktop saying: "Love to family, better luck next time."

Mrs Meeson said: "I never thought he would harm himself in any way."

North Derbyshire coroner Tom Kelly recorded a verdict that Mr Meeson took his own life.