Railway safety demand after brother dies plunging over wall

by Richard Edwards A BEREAVED Leeds man has called for increased security at a railway embankment where his brother lost his life.

Stephen Tearle was speaking after the inquest into the death of his brother Kevin, who was found dead on railway lines near Richmond Croft, in Richmond Hill, Leeds.

CCTV footage mentioned as evidence at the inquest showed a figure climbing over a wall near the embankment shortly before Mr Tearle, of Cleveleys Street, Holbeck, died.

Stephen Tearle said: "I am concerned that wall is so low. I hope that they can do something about it in future, because if it isn't, the same thing that happened to Kevin could happen to someone else.

"A real concern is that a small child could get over there and have an accident or worse."

After the inquest, coroner David Hinchliff said he would be writing to Network Rail to highlight the safety issues linked to the low railway wall.

The hearing, held before a jury at Leeds Coroner's Court, was told that Kevin Tearle, 37, had problems with alcohol and drug misuse.

A statement from Mr Tearle's former partner, Marie Fish, read to the court, said that his mental health had been deteriorating since Christmas 2004.

He had broken his leg in two places in a failed suicide attempt, and had been prescribed the strong opiate-based painkiller dihydrocodeine.

But, the inquest heard, Mr Tearle's supply of the drug had run out and so a relative gave him a number of amitriptyline tablets, mainly used as an anti-depressant.

Evidence from Home Office consultant pathologist Peter Vanezis said that a side effect of amitriptyline can be the feeling the user is being chased.

Several witnesses told the court that Mr Tearle believed someone was chasing him on the day he fell onto the tracks, March 29, this year. Mr Tearle died of multiple injuries on April 2.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: "We have not yet received the coroner's report. Once we do we will address any issues raised."