South Yorkshire rail death dad consumed with ‘hatred’ for his ex

Scarlett Straw.
Scarlett Straw.
Share this article
Have your say

A YOUNG dad who tried to kill his little daughter by running with her in front of a high-speed train was filled with hatred for his ex.

Richard Straw died instantly after being hit by the London to Leeds express - but three-year-old Scarlett survived the 70mph collision.

When police went to the 28-year-old warehouseman’s home they found walls and doors covered in graffiti about his ex, Samantha Roberts.

The day before his death in July last year Mr Straw, of Wellington Grove, Bentley, Doncaster, learned Ms Roberts had been seeing his friend, Lee Bacon - whose house he was then suspected of setting on fire.

A letter to Ms Roberts found in his car near the railway line at Adwick-le-Street said: “I’m having Scarlett, she’s coming with me, far, far away from you. Can’t wait for the train to come.”

Det Con Ian Grice told the Doncaster inquest there was ‘extensive graffiti’ at the house expressing hatred for Ms Roberts. “It was obviously the work of someone not thinking straight. It was quite disturbing,” he said.

On July 11 last year, Ms Roberts had been due to take Scarlett to buy her first school uniform but Mr Straw turned up pleading to take the child to the park.

“He promised she’d be back for 12 o’clock,” she said. “He was calmer than he had been. He told Scarlett to say goodbye to mummy.”

When they didn’t return for midday Ms Roberts began to worry, and was at his house when police arrived.

“I read some of the messages on the staircase just as the police turned up,” she said. “It was all hatred towards me.”

Train driver David Dobson said Mr Straw was ‘running fast’ as he shot out in front of the train holding his daughter on his left hip.

Scarlett was treated for serious abdominal and leg injuries but has since recovered enough to start school.

Coroner Nicola Mundy recorded a verdict that Mr Straw took his own life.