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The 'big, soft teddy bear' who tragically took his own life at Derbyshire train station

The late Martin Wilde.
The late Martin Wilde.

Martin Wilde was described as a 'big, soft teddy bear'.

The car enthusiast - who stood out from the crowd with his tattooed face - adored his children and grandchildren.

He was well-known and much-loved in the Chesterfield area.

Tragically, the 53-year-old - who suffered from mental health problems including schizophrenia - died when he placed himself in front of a train travelling at nearly 100mph.

During his inquest this week, coroner Kathryn Hayes ruled Mr Wilde died by suicide - and called for potentially life-saving Samaritans' posters to be made more prominent at the station where he passed away.

Childhood 'events'

Chesterfield coroners' court heard Mr Wilde became depressed after the death of his mother in 2011 and he was 'very distressed' by 'events' which happened during his childhood.

The inquest did not make public the exact nature of these 'events' - but it emerged that police had been treating Mr Wilde as a victim as part of a historical criminal investigation.

Sally Hardy, a lead nurse with Bolsover and Clay Cross community mental health team, said this 'caused him a lot of distress' and he suffered flashbacks and nightmares.

The inquest heard Mr Wilde received some counselling but he stopped attending sessions as he felt he was not able to engage with them.

Mr Wilde broke up with Anne Wilde, his wife of 15 years, and moved in with his new partner Denise Lewis in the summer of 2016, the court heard.

Ms Wilde described Mr Wilde as a 'big, soft teddy bear' while Ms Lewis said in a written statement: "He could look scary at times but he was lovely at heart."

On October 4, 2016, Mr Wilde was involved in an argument which caused him 'great distress', the inquest heard.

He subsequently ran away from his house on Smithy Place, Grassmoor, and ended up at Dronfield train station.

There, he was hit by a train travelling at around 90mph.

The court heard the train driver did nothing wrong.

Emergency services were called and PC Mark Mason, of British Transport Police, told the inquest how he went on to the tracks that evening to see if he could do anything to save Mr Wilde's life.

Concern over posters

Recording a conclusion of suicide, coroner Ms Hayes said: "Mr Wilde had a history of mental health difficulties.

"Recent stresses led to a deterioration in his personality despite support from healthcare providers.

"His treatment took a variety of forms and he had various medication.

"I find he deliberately placed himself in front of the train.

"I don't know what brought him to that position - nobody will ever know."

Ms Hayes said she was 'disappointed' to learn Samaritans' posters were only A4 in size at Dronfield train station, where there has been a spate of suicides.

She also voiced concern about the lack of a Samaritans' poster at the entrance to the station.

Ms Hayes said she would write to rail chiefs to ask them to 'consider the size and sitings of the posters'.

Such posters - which are situated prominently at many train stations across the UK - include a free phone number for the Samaritans and could help a vulnerable person know they can speak to someone in confidence, potentially preventing a future death.

Ms Hayes offered her condolences to Mr Wilde's loved ones as the inquest ended.

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life has done to you, please remember that you are not alone and help is at hand. You can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email them jo@Samaritans.org. The Samaritans are there all day, every day.