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By Marcus Chippendale
17:11, 27 APR 2015
Grade A student Chandni Nigam would stay up late studying and also worried about her appearance, the inquest in Reading heard
The inquest was heard before coroner Peter Bedford, following the death at Twyford railway station (Image: PA)
A brilliant student threw herself in front of a high-speed train after becoming stressed over her studies, a coroner heard today.
Chandni Nigam, who achieved straight-As in her exams and was described as a “perfectionist”, spent six years battling demons which spawned from an obsession to do well at school, an inquest was told.
Miss Nigam, who was aged 19 years when she died, would stay up late studying, resulting in sleep deprivation and consequently a negative impact on her performance at school, leading to further depression and anxiety.
She was also worried about her appearance, having suffered from problems including acne and hair loss.
Tragically, the teenager – who volunteered at the London 2012 Olympics – told her parents she was suicidal, spelling out how she would stand in front of a fast train on a Tuesday – the way in which she finally died.
Twyford railway station, where Miss Nigam died (Image: PA)
Miss Nigam saw numerous doctors over several years but her father told the inquest how she often refused treatment and he felt he was “torturing” his daughter by making her attend appointments, eventually accepting she would one day kill herself.
In February last year she was struck by a high speed train travelling from London Paddington at Twyford railway station in Berkshire.
Train driver Stephen Wood applied the emergency brake and paramedics were called to the scene, but Miss Nigam, from Pavenham Close, Lower Earley, Berkshire, died instantly from multiple injuries.
applied the emergency brake and paramedics were called to the scene, but Miss Nigam, from Pavenham Close, Lower Earley, Berkshire, died instantly from multiple injuries.
Her father, Ankush Nigam, told the inquest: “I’m glad she’s in a peaceful place.”
Reading Coroners’ Court, where the inquest continues (Image: Google)
Mr Nigam said his daughter first started showing signs of depression and sleep deprivation aged 13 years and visited numerous doctors and was put on various medications over several years.
The inquest heard her doctors believed Miss Nigam showed improvement when on medication, but she was often reluctant to take it.
However, Mr Nigam criticised doctors for not believing him and his wife that their daughter’s condition was worse than she presented to health teams.
He said their concerns were not taken seriously, even when they explained she had told them how she would kill herself.r Nigam said his daughter first spoke of committing suicide by standing in front of a train in October 2013.
“That was the first time she made a comment in respect of the train,” said Mr Nigam.
“She clicked her fingers and said it would be instantaneous so don’t worry.”
The inquest heard she told doctors she did not want medication for her condition and was not judged to be a suicide risk.
Mr Nigam said he began to accept there was nothing that could be done to help his daughter, believing he was “torturing” her by taking her to see medical teams.
He said: “Nobody was willing to accept our version of events. What she said was given so much significance while what we said was ignored.
“I thought I might as well just let her go.
“I was waiting for something like this to happen. I literally felt like a passenger.
“I wish I had not subjected her to any of those doctors or anybody now. All I have done is added to her misery.”
Mr Nigam said every time he dropped his daughter off at a train station he feared it would be the last time he saw her. He said his daughter eventually killed herself because she feared she would be put back on medication.
The inquest heard Miss Nigam suffered from numerous conditions over several years in addition to her depression, including acne, malnutrition, hair loss and itchy skin.
Miss Nigam, who achieved all A and A* grades at GCSE level, was in and out of school and college as she battled her illness.
On the day she died, witnesses recalled seeing her on the platform at Twyford railway station, where she showed no visible signs of distress.
One bystander, Jonathan Housby, said he saw her step out onto the tracks, seemingly “fixated” on the oncoming train.
“She did not appear scared and made no attempt to get out of the way of the oncoming train,” he said.
Matthew Lock, who was also at the station and saw Miss Nigam between the rails, said: “She just stood there. I remember shouting something and then she was gone.”
The inquest, before Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford, continues.