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Suicide verdict given on man hit by train near West Bromwich

A businessman who died when he was hit by a train near to a West Bromwich beauty spot committed suicide, an inquest heard.


Stuart Oakley, aged 58, from Bustleholme Lane, took his own life on July 27 at Charlemont level crossing not far from Sandwell Valley Country Park.

He had a history of anxiety and depression but had only been in contact with mental health practitioners in the lead up to his death.

Mr Oakley, who was an industrial chemist and regional sales manager for the UK and Europe, would travel around the country for his work, Black Country Coroners Court heard.

His daughter, Sian Barber, said he had no financial or relationship problems and had never expressed thoughts of self harm.

Speaking at the inquest she described him as an active family man who loved countryside walks.

She said: "He was always out and about and enjoyed his job.

"He was a very active man who loved walking in the countryside with my brother and would often take us out on walks as a family, especially along the coast in Cornwall when we would go on holiday.

"He had a history of mental health problems since his dad died at 18. In September last year he fell and broke his shoulder and that knocked him about. But, from Christmas to May, he was fine.

"It was only from that May onwards that he declined and, over a four week period, he would not leave the house."

The court heard how Mr Oakley was assessed by mental health consultants at Sandwell Hospital, who determined his condition as 'moderate' and concluded that he was not suicidal at that point.

By July 26 he had 'spiralled out of control' with paranoia about his job, health worries and entered into a state of psychosis.

After a further trip to the hospital he was offered respite care in Tipton but returned home with sleeping medication.

The following morning he 'snuck' out of the house and made his way to the crossing.

Senior Coroner Zafar Siddique gave a conclusion of suicide labelling it an 'absolute tragedy.'

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