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The Bristol Post
Posted: May 20, 2015
By Laura Churchill
A TROUBLED teenager left video suicide notes on his phone before he walked in front of a train travelling at 85 mph.
Luke Dadds, who had told a doctor he smoked cannabis on most days, had been suffering from low moods and was put on anti-depressants in the months prior to his death near the railway station in his home town of Yate on January 6 this year.
Avon Coroners’ Court heard the 18-year-old told a doctor he had a recurring dream that friends would be looking at a picture of him while at a funeral.
His father, Kevin, found instructions to access the videos, including the mobile phone PIN number, under his duvet shortly after Luke left home saying he was going to work.
Moments later he heard sirens near to the family’s Dorset Way home, heading towards the railway tracks by the Celestine Road foot crossing, where Luke died.
Luke, a former Brimsham Green School pupil, died of multiple injuries after stepping in front of the CrossCountry Bristol to Birmingham service shortly before 7am.
His parents said they first noticed Luke’s cannabis problems when he was aged 16 and had started a plumbing course at Filton College.
They said when he quit the course and had his own income through his job as a personal shopper at Tesco in Yate they believed his smoking increased.
In a statement read to yesterday’s hearing at Flax Bourton Coroners Court, Mr Dadds said his wife Suzanne had arranged for Luke to see a doctor after he had spoken to her about his moods and said he “needed help,” just over two months before his death.
“She made a GP’s appointment and went with him,” said Mr Dadds. “He had been open, but she sensed he was holding back and so she left the room. She later asked and he said he told the GP he had a recurring dream of all his friends looking at his photograph at a funeral.”
In December, Luke had gone on a trip with friends to Newcastle and it later emerged he had spent £400 at a casino.
The night before his death, he had watched football with his father and said: ‘Night pa – see you up there’, which struck Mr Dadds as unusual.
The following morning Luke told his mum he loved her before leaving the home at around 5.45am, dressed in his work top and jeans.
But he went in the opposite direction and headed to the railway crossing.
Soon afterwards his father discovered the phone videos.
Mr Dadds said: “I watched about 10 seconds to realise it was serious.”
His dad called his wife and Tesco to be told he had not turned up at work.
“As I was on the phone, we could hear the sirens in the distance,” the statement added.
Investigating officer for British Transport Police, John Wilson, said the train was travelling at 85mph at the time and an onboard camera had recorded the incident.
Mrs Dadds said the family were aware of the video but did not want to see it.
Train driver Stephen Pridday said in a statement that he was shocked to see a man coming from behind the bushes and running towards the line.
“Mr Pridday was unable to stop,” said Mr Wilson. “I have watched the train recording and it ties in with his description.”
Beside the railway line, transport police found Luke’s passport with the word ‘sorry’ formed from foot high stone bars used by the railway.
The videos were left for his mum, dad, sister and friends.
In a written statement read to the inquest Dr Rachel Bayly said Luke first came to Courtside Surgery on October 30 last year, saying he had been feeling low moods for a year and admitted to smoking cannabis most days. But he denied having suicidal thoughts and was put on anti-depressants.
Assistant coroner Terence Moore concluded Luke’s death was suicide.
The coroner said: “Other than being more affectionate, there was nothing really to alert anyone as to his intentions.
“Clearly it seems to me Luke took his own life by voluntarily stepping in front of the train.
“I want to offer my sincere condolences to his family.”