Train suicide man faced charges

Fowler Bridge Road railway crossing, Bentley, Doncaster.
Fowler Bridge Road railway crossing, Bentley, Doncaster.
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A DRIVING instructor killed himself on the day he was going to be charged by Doncaster detectives with criminal offences.

John Wilson sent an email to his solicitor protesting his innocence - then went to the railway line near his Bentley home and less than an hour later was killed instantly by a London-bound express train.

Police yesterday refused to reveal what offence they had planned to charge Mr Wilson with, saying disclosure of the information was not appropriate.

The loss of her husband has so distressed his widow Denise Wilson that she was excused attendance at the inquest into his death.

Mr Wilson’s solicitor, Dale Harris, had rung his client the previous afternoon to tell him he was going to be charged when he attended the police station the following day, March 25 last year.

“He did not intimate he would take action to harm himself. Nothing he said made me concerned about self-harm,” said Mr Harris.

Police were so concerned when he failed to attend the police station that they went looking for him.

Mr Wilson, aged 46, was already dead.

Train driver Paul Leaf was approaching Doncaster station at 60mph just before 11am when he saw a man appear on the track at Fowler Bridge Crossing, Bentley, and crouch down in front of the locomotive a couple of seconds before he was hit.

Mr Wilson, of Hunt Lane, died from multiple injuries. An Iron Maiden tattoo on his arm provided initial identification before his identity was confirmed by fingerprints from his police record.

Det Con Tamara Grace said he had been bailed to attend the police station at 11am on March 25 but failed to answer bail. His solicitor had been advised he would be charged, although the nature of the alleged crime was not disclosed at the inquest.

Mr Harris told police he had received an email from his client at 9.59am that day, which Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis did not read out but said left no doubt of his intentions.

He added: “It is fair to say he appears to be denying any criminality.”

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Curtis said Mr Wilson clearly entered onto the track and the outcome was inevitable.

“This incident occurred at about 10.50am on March 25 and it is clear this man was to answer bail the same morning. The email does say he didn’t want it to be divulged until 11am and those things speak for themselves and that he intended to kill himself.”

Mrs Wilson, also 46, an office supervisor, said her husband’s death had “completely devastated” her and made her ill with stress.

The coroner said the train driver and an inspector travelling in the cab had both been greatly distressed by the traumatic incident because Mr Wilson was looking straight at them when he was struck.