Inquest: Marlow train death man was "living a falsehood"

Bucks Free Press: Inquest: Train death man was "living a falsehood" Inquest: Train death man was "living a falsehood"

A MAN who was killed by a train had been "living a falsehood" and fooling his family into thinking he had a job, an inquest heard.

Andrew Townsend had been giving the impression he was going out to work at a gym each day - but when police investigating his death made enquiries, they discovered he had never worked there.

The 35-year-old, who had recently been given the all-clear from cancer, was killed by a train at the Mill Lane level crossing in Marlow just after midnight on Thursday, June 27.

But a verdict of suicide was ruled out as coroner Richard Hulett could not be certain Mr Townsend intended to end his life.

The discovery of his body initially led to a specialist team of forensics examining the area as police suspected third party involvement, but Home Office pathologist Nicholas Hunt, who carried out the post mortem, ruled this out.

Thursday's inquest at Beaconsfield Coroner's Court heard Mr Townsend, of Mill Road, Marlow, had been made redundant from his position as manager at Wine Rack in Cookham in 2009.

British Transport Police officer PC David Hughes, who co-ordinated the investigation into Mr Townsend's death, said since then he had been trying to pursue a career as a personal trainer.

But he said: "He said he was employed by LA Fitness in Slough but enquiries with them revealed he has never worked at any of their branches."

A police search of Mr Townsend's laptop revealed he had viewed the websites of loan companies Cash Lady and Wonga but there was no evidence he had applied to either of them for a loan.

His bank account was checked and two payments turned out to be from Jobseekers' Allowance, while another larger credit came off the back of a PPI claim - but there were no signs of a regular salary being paid in.

PC Hughes told the inquest that in February 2013 Mr Townsend was given the all-clear from testicular cancer, having a tumour removed during an operation at Wycombe Hospital.

He had shown signs of depression during his treatment but PC Hughes added: "He was low, rather than clinically depressed."

Mr Hulett said: "His death threw up a lot of anomalies about his personal life. What we do know is whilst he maintained he had employment and was going out on a regular basis, the reality was there's no evidence he did.

"He was projecting a rather inaccurate image of his daily and personal life, insofar as he was going out to work. But he hadn't - what he'd been doing with most of his time will likely remain a mystery until we have a revelation somewhere."

Mr Hulett said maintaining a double life would be "challenging circumstances for anybody", adding: "It's living a falsehood and will put a lot of mental pressure on anyone."

He recorded a narrative verdict that said Mr Townsend was killed by a train but "the evidence doesn't sufficiently disclose his purpose and motive for being there".

Comments (6)

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10:34am Sat 7 Dec 13

MunsterX says...

Given that the gentleman clearly wanted all around him to see him as a hard working man, what a betrayal this news report is to him, is there no dignity in death?
How can the BFP defend publishing these details; I mean, he harmed no-one but himself, so how is it in the public interest to hear this?
I am sure the guy was ten times more noble than the douche-bag reporters who take a salary writing this crap.
Given that the gentleman clearly wanted all around him to see him as a hard working man, what a betrayal this news report is to him, is there no dignity in death? How can the BFP defend publishing these details; I mean, he harmed no-one but himself, so how is it in the public interest to hear this? I am sure the guy was ten times more noble than the douche-bag reporters who take a salary writing this crap. MunsterX

11:54am Sun 8 Dec 13

Scarletto says...

How silly of Munster.
All media report the good, bad, sad, and funny in the community and world we live in. It would be a dull existence if we were unaware of life and death around us. This a sad tale of a worried man.
How silly of Munster. All media report the good, bad, sad, and funny in the community and world we live in. It would be a dull existence if we were unaware of life and death around us. This a sad tale of a worried man. Scarletto

9:03pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Both of you are right.

I hope that people who think the unemployed are living the life of Riley on JSA consider what this man was doing.
Both of you are right. I hope that people who think the unemployed are living the life of Riley on JSA consider what this man was doing. Undercover Euro Yob

6:24pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Dickitdo says...

Sometimes comments are best kept to ourselves !! A Still Tongue Makes A Wise Head
Sometimes comments are best kept to ourselves !! A Still Tongue Makes A Wise Head Dickitdo

12:03pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Mr Townsend's family have reason to be proud of him - he must have been a brave and conscientious man to wish so badly to convince his family he was living a conventional life in paid employment.

Like many people he was unable to do so and he is now in a position where he can rest.
Mr Townsend's family have reason to be proud of him - he must have been a brave and conscientious man to wish so badly to convince his family he was living a conventional life in paid employment. Like many people he was unable to do so and he is now in a position where he can rest. Undercover Euro Yob

12:03pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

(Last word.)
(Last word.) Undercover Euro Yob

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