Tragic teen left goodbye message — (Wigan Evening Post)

SSRI Ed note: Teenager dies by lying on train tracks within weeks of starting antidepressant

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Wigan Evening Post

May 10, 2013

A TROUBLED teenager who was struck by a train after downing vodka, taking drugs and inhaling gas had recorded a heartbreaking “goodbye” message for his family, an inquest heard.

Tragic Bradley Davies emerged from bushes near Hindley railway station before sitting down on the track in front of a moving train on the evening of July 16 last year. The 18-year-old suffered multiple fatal injuries.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard how in the weeks before his death Mr Davies, of Hall Lane, Hindley, was prescribed anti-depressants and referred by his GP to the 5 Boroughs Partnership’s mental health team. But after assessment was referred to the home treatment team and returned into the community.

His mother Janet, who disagreed with that decision, said: “Bradley was the heart of our family – he really was. He had become involved in solvent abuse when he was 14 but didn’t realise what it was doing to him. The directions he took after that all seemed to be wrong.”

In addition to the solvent abuse Mr Davies had, also when he was 14, told family he had taken an overdose of paracetamol. Then, after leaving school at 16, he had completed some training with Silver Track to learn how to lay tracks on the railway. But work opportunities were sporadic and Mr Davies slipped into a cycle of inhaling gas in a bid to ease his anxiety.

Mrs Davies, who thought her son may have been taking a short cut home when he was killed, added: “Bradley knew he was in a bad place and he took a serious turn for the worse. We knew he needed professional help – he couldn’t cope on his own. Earlier on I’d found a suicide note in his notebook, which really scared me and, one day, we found the car in the garage with a pipe next to it. After his death we found out that he had filmed himself saying he loved us and that it wasn’t our fault. As bad as it was to see, I could tell he was intoxicated at the time. He wasn’t in his right mind.”

In a statement, Mr Davies’s friend Kirsty Sharples told how she had met up with him on July 16 – by which time he already had a litre bottle of vodka and one or two gas canisters in his possession. He then stole another bottle of vodka from a nearby supermarket before buying two more gas canisters to inhale. Before long he was extremely intoxicated, although Ms Sharples described him as being in “a really good mood”. The last she saw of him was when he ran up an embankment and scaled a fence onto the railway line.

Following the tragedy, a pathologist recorded the cause of death as “multiple injuries”. A toxicologist found evidence of mephedrone in his system as well as alcohol and anti-depressants, while the amount of gas he had inhaled was impossible to accurately assess.