‘Jess brought fun, joy and silliness to our lives’

Jessia Raw.
Jessia Raw.
  • Family want to raise awareness of contraceptive which they fear led young woman to depression
  • Jessica Raw died after walking in front of a train
  • Family say more needs to be done to stop people taking their own lives at Hilsea station
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A MUM whose daughter died after walking out in front of a train has called for barriers to be put in place to help stop more people losing their lives.

At an inquest into Jessica Raw’s death, a court heard that she died at Hilsea station on June 5 this year.

I can’t get Jess back but I would hate to think that this kind of thing can keep on happening

Hannah Raw, sister

The 27-year-old had been using the contraceptive coil Mirena and her family feel its side-effects had caused her to become depressed.

After the hearing, Jessica’s mother, Katie, said more should be done to stop people jumping.

The 63-year-old said: ‘There are trains going through there that don’t stop and go very fast. I would like to see perspex doors or gates which cover the whole of the platform.’

She also said she would like to see Samaritans posters to offer people help.

She added: ‘I don’t think it would have stopped Jess from doing it because she was very determined, but it might help somebody else. It did cause a lot of disruption and as a family we are very upset about what it must have done to the train driver and the passengers.’

Over the past three years The News has reported 13 deaths at stations including Hilsea, Cosham, Bedhampton, Portchester, Emsworth and Chichester.

Jessica, who has three sisters and two brothers, worked as a teaching assistant in Madrid, Spain for the last four years of her life.

In the April before she died, her parents grew concerned for her welfare following a series of text messages she had sent to her family. They decided to fly out to Madrid and tried to convince her to come back to Portsmouth with them, but she declined.

David Raw said: ‘Towards the end of her time in Spain she was very depressed. We said we could go out to Madrid to be with her. We arrived on her doorstep. She wasn’t the Jess we all knew. She had lost her love of life. She said she was stupid and nobody liked her.’

She returned to Portsmouth and on June 5 she was hit by a train at Hilsea station. Police said she had been searching online for suicide methods.

Robert Stone, assistant coroner for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, gave a narrative verdict, saying Jessica took her own life while suffering depression which may have been contributed to by the use of the coil, which works by emitting hormones into the body.

Jessica’s sister, Hannah, wants there to be a universal warning about the possibility of depression.

She said: ‘I can’t get Jess back but I would hate to think that this kind of thing can keep on happening. I just want to raise awareness that this is a side-effect.’

In a tribute, her brother Tim Raw, 33, said: ‘Jess brought fun, joy and silliness to our lives and she was constantly pushing almost everybody she met to be fairer and more just and to treat people with compassion and dignity.

‘We have not yet come to terms with the enormity of what we have lost, but we’re left with many happy memories of a kind, thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful woman who made a very positive difference to many, many lives.’

Bayer Healthcare, which produces the drug Mirena, said it was unaware of Jessica’s death and could not comment.

Network Rail works with the Samaritans to reduce the number of fatalities. Staff are trained to spot and help vulnerable people at risk of suicide.

‘A Network Rail spokesperson said: ‘This is a terrible incident and our sympathies are with the family and friends of Jessica Raw.

‘Any death on the railway is a tragedy and the impact is felt not only by those who knew the person but by the train driver and station staff involved in the aftermath. We want to do everything we can to stop this from happening.’