Suicide verdict for carer son

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A MAN who isolated himself from his family following his parents’ deaths took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

David Cooper, 53, of Norfolk Mews, Hayling Island, was hit by a train when he crossed the tracks at Nutbourne level crossing in June last year.

An inquest into his death was held at Edes House in Chichester yesterday.

Mr Cooper was one of six children and cared full-time for his parents.

However, following his father’s and then his mother’s deaths, Mr Cooper isolated himself from the rest of his family.

The inquest heard they had tried to find Mr Cooper new accommodation following his mother’s death.

In a statement read out at the inquest, Anne Larcombe, Mr Cooper’s sister, said it was the last time she saw him alive.

‘He had taken to walking with a stick and he had long brown hair tied back in a pony tail,’ she said, and added that she had no further contact with him.

It was suggested beer cans found in a neighbouring field may have belonged to Mr Cooper.

But Ms Larcombe replied, ‘As far as I’m aware he was teetotal.’

A post mortem examination found Mr Cooper died of multiple injuries.

The inquest heard Mr Cooper was carrying medication for gender realignment.

Charles Arnold was driving the train which hit Mr Cooper.

He said: ‘It was a very bright day. I did not see anyone on the tracks. I had the visor pulled down and the sun was low in the sky.’

PC Raymond Hewitt, from the British Transport Police, said the damage to the front of the train was consistent with Mr Cooper sitting on the tracks.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner Michael Kendall, said: ‘My conclusion is the deceased took his own life.

‘I do find the evidence from the British Transport Police compelling, together with the photographs, and it does seem to me quite conclusive the deceased was sitting on the track.’