AN ELDERLY Wotton-under-Edge man laid down on a railway line and was hit by a moving train and killed instantly after learning he was being investigated for a criminal offence, an inquest heard today.

Geoffrey Leyland, 75, had been “under a lot of stress” since his arrest on March 15 and made an unsuccessful attempt on his life on March 16, Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard.

He was taken to hospital and when he was released he assured the mental health nurse he would not make any further attempts on his life.

But he went out on the evening of March 20 and laid down on the train track near to Cam and Dursley Station where he was hit by a fast-moving train and died instantaneously.

The train driver made a statement for the court which said he had just passed through the station at Cam and Dursley when he became aware of someone lying on the ground on the line. 

He said in the short amount of time he saw the person there was no attempt made to move and he did not have time to stop. 

Mr Leyland's wife, who was present in court, made a statement confirming her husband had been made aware on March 15 that he was under investigation for a criminal offence.

Mrs Leyland's statement read out by senior coroner Katie Skerrett said that Mr Leyland had been quite distressed by this and attempted to take his own life the following day. 

She found him that morning and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

"He went to visit his sister and as he left he gave her a hug and a kiss which was out of character" Mrs Skerrett told the court when summarising Mrs Leyland's statement.

"That evening he was reading a book but holding the sides of his head saying he felt funny. 

“At 6pm he told his wife he was going to the allotment but he didn't return.  

“Mrs Leyland reported her husband missing but at 8.30pm she was informed of the tragic events that evening."

Mrs Skerrett recorded a conclusion of suicide saying the potential court case for the criminal offence was "an enormous stressful factor".

"The following day he tried to take his own life which was unsuccessful.  He reassured the mental health team he would keep himself safe and would not attempt to take his own life again.

"On March 20 his wife said it was a usual day, slightly abnormal with how he behaved with his sister but that evening he told his wife he was going to the allotment and did not return."

"He made his way alone to the track.  It is very likely he found his way onto the track via the end of the platform of the station at Cam and Dursley. 

“CCTV showed him arrive in his car alone and walk to the platform before disappearing from view.

"He then led down on the track and died by being struck by a fast-moving train."

"Looking at his previous attempt on his own life and the pending case I am satisfied he intended to take his own life," Mrs Skerrett concluded.