Railway death not ‘deliberate’

Mexborough Station
Mexborough Station

A YOUNG deaf woman who sat on the railway line at Mexborough station after drinking too much did not hear the approaching train until it was too late, an inquest.

Although Billie-Jane Coulton had made previous suicide attempts, CCTV footage from the station and train clearly showed her trying to scramble onto the platform as she realised the train was nearly upon her.

That evidence persuaded the coroner at the Doncaster inquest to record an accidental death verdict.

Billie-Jane, aged 27, and Richard Goulding, aged 33, arrived at Mexborough station on January 25 just after the last train had gone.

Mr Goulding admitted to police they had both injected crack cocaine and were drunk.

A few minutes earlier he had had to pull her back from trying to jump into the canal near the station.

Mr Goulding said she ‘laughed it off’ but when they entered the station, instead of crossing to the other platform by the footbridge, they both crossed the tracks and sat on the Sheffield-bound line.

He said Billie-Jane started running off and he shouted after her from the platform. “I doubt she heard me. I saw the headlights of a train. I just saw her disappear under the train. I don’t know how it happened, it was so quick.”

Mr Goulding was arrested on suspicion of murder but railway police decided it was not a suspicious daeth after viewing CCTV footage.

Billie-Jane had been hearing impaired since the age of 13 months and was bullied at school.

Until the age of 17 she was normal teenager but then fell in with the wrong crowd and started using drugs.

Pc Wayne Pickett, of British Transport Police, said as the train approached “she looked over her shoulder as if she had never heard it and then made attempts to get up on the platform.”

Assistant coroner Mark Beresford said that because of her deafness Billie-Jane may not have heard the train coming ‘and her reaction speed may have been affected by the drink and drugs she had injected.’

He added: “The evidence suggests a history of a desire to self-harm but no evidence that on the night she had that intention, and there is evidence of her clearly attempting to scramble clear of the train.”