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Hellesdon man visited crash site day before killing himself

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the coroner's court is situated in the ground floor. Picture: Denise Bradley

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the coroner's court is situated in the ground floor. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

A Hellesdon man suffering with mental health difficulties visited the railway where he killed himself the day before his death, an inquest heard.

Mark Mills, 47, of Meredith Road, had endured paranoid thoughts about his neighbours’ opinion of him and feared his house was falling down in the months before his death.

He died after stepping in front of a train in Newton Flotman on September 5 last year.

A jury yesterday returned a verdict that the former factory worker had killed himself while in a disturbed state of mind.

Mr Mills’ partner Dawn Pope told the inquest in Norwich that the Lotus factory worker had begun to suffer from depression just before Christmas 2011, and had been signed off work for several months before his death.

He took an overdose of medication on April 15, but was taken into hospital, and later became increasingly reclusive and reluctant to leave the house.

“He was paranoid all the time. He was sure that the neighbours thought there was something wrong with him,” she said.

She described her partner has “happy-go-lucky” but said he changed when he had depressive periods.

“When he was like that it was like a brick wall. You couldn’t see in and he couldn’t see out,” she added.

Mr Mills had been receiving support at work and was referred to a mental health nurse by his GP, and had the first meeting in August.

Mr Mills was seen by a friend walking near the place he died on September 4. He returned the following day and stepped in front of a train bound for London Liverpool Street at 8.08am.

In a statement, train driver Mark Rowe said: “He ran on to my track suddenly and stopped there momentarily, making no attempt to move.”

He sounded the horn and used the emergency brake, but could not avoid the collision. Mr Mills was pronounced dead at the scene.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: “Mark was a warm, loving and talented person, but there were times when he found himself in a dark place from which he was unable to escape, despite professional help.”

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