Heartbroken mum pays tribute to 'troubled' son after Sheffield station tragedy

Chapeltown railway station.
Chapeltown railway station.
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The heartbroken mum of a Sheffield man who was hit by a train at Chapeltown railway station has paid tribute to her ‘bright, caring and loving’ son.

Robert Jenkinson, aged 28, of Harley Road, Chapeltown, suffered from a range of physical and mental health problems, including borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, diabetes and obesity.

He also abused illegal drugs, most notably crack cocaine, was drinking heavily and took three overdoses of prescription medication in the months before he died.

An inquest into his death heard from the medical professionals who treated him in the final weeks of his life.

He had seen his GP numerous times that summer, had had extensive contact with mental health services and been admitted to hospital on more than one occasion.

Tragically, Robert saw his care co-ordinator for a final time on the day he died, but it was decided he was not in immediate danger.

Later – around half an hour before he died – he called an out-of-hours mental health service, but was told to call back and leave a message.

The mental health nurse who took that call, Karen Clark, said the conversation gave her no reason to suspect Robert was ‘in crisis’.

A review of Robert’s care conducted by the home treatment team found that the support he received was appropriate, although greater involvement from the substance abuse team may have been beneficial.

Recording an open verdict, assistant coroner, David Urpeth, said he was ‘absolutely convinced’ Robert travelled to Chapeltown station on August 30 with the intention of taking his own life.

He could not, however, record his death as suicide because of doubt created by Robert’s actions in the moments before he died, as reported by eyewitnesses at the station.

Concluding the inquest, Mr Urpeth said: “It is clear to me that Mr Jenkinson had a very troubled life.

“Despite all the efforts of medical professionals he still struggled with his mental health and that led him to take the action that he did.

“It is a tragedy for him and for all those he leaves behind.”

Speaking after the inquest, Robert’s mum, Ann Jenkinson, said her son was a ‘bright, caring, loving man’ who just found things difficult and struggled to cope.

She also paid tribute to the ‘wonderful’ medical professionals who cared for him, particularly his GP, Dr Paul Johnston, and others at the Melrose Surgery in Chapeltown.