THE death of a man who was hit by a train after attending a party was a tragic accident.
That is the verdict of coroner David Horsley, who said at a hearing at Portsmouth Guildhall that 21-year-old Ben Hinks’ death in the early hours of February 22 was unintentional.
Mr Horsley said: ‘I’m satisfied that there’s nothing to suggest that he’s done this deliberately.’
Ben was a chef who lived and worked at the Compass Rose pub in Anchorage Park.
The inquest heard that the night before he died he had been at a party at a house in West Leigh, where he got drunk before heading to Bedhampton Train Station to get home.
Temporary Sergeant Mark Stook of Southampton-based British Transport Police said Ben had consumed a lot of alcohol that night including half a large bottle of Captain Morgan rum.
A friend of Ben’s Sian Beresford, 21, said his mood changed at the party as he became drunk and he ended up fighting with his friends.
She said: ‘He was happy, he was fine. Then he started to get angry and started pushing people away.’
Ms Beresford said Ben then went upstairs and passed out in the bathroom before saying that he wanted to go home.
His friends tried to get a taxi to take him home, but Ben was refused by three taxi drivers for being too drunk.
Ms Beresford said: ‘He said “I’m gonna walk home, you know I can walk home, I’ve done it loads of times”.’
Ben left the company of his friends about 4am and headed to Bedhampton Train Station.
CCTV footage showed him arriving at the station just after 5am.
The inquest heard that Ben was stumbling about on the train tracks where he fell several times.
On one of his falls, he hit his head and was unable to get up.
He passed out with his legs across the tracks and he was hit by a train just after 6am.
Ben was the youngest of five siblings.
He attended South Downs College before deciding he wanted to become a chef.
Ben qualified as a chef in May 2012 and first worked at the Horse & Jockey pub before starting at the Compass Rose.
His sister Nicky Hinks, 32, speaking on behalf of the family, said: ‘He’s sorely missed.
‘He was looking forward and he had plans.’