A FORMER teacher stood in front of an oncoming train to end his life two days before he was due to be sentenced for sexually abusing children, an inquest heard.
Hugh Henry stood in the Mantles Wood pedestrian crossing with his back towards the oncoming 18:02 Aylesbury to London service on February 4, sustaining “unsurvivable injuries”, the inquest was told.
The former Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School teacher from Pomeroy Close, Amersham, was due to appear at Aylesbury Crown Court for sentencing two days later.
The 82-year-old had previously admitted 11 counts of indecency with or towards a child, and two counts of gross indecency with a child during his time at the school in Farnham Common.
Henry’s daughter Alice told the inquest that her father tried to keep the family out of the court case and took an overdose in November 2011 as police investigated the historic child abuse allegations.
In a statement read to Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court, she said: “[In 2011] he went missing two days after police came to the house. He took an overdose of tablets and, following treatment, he came home.
“He became more private and a bit forgetful. We sought counselling regarding [the case]. He refused to allow the family to get involved.”
Miss Henry said she phoned the house at about 6pm on February 4 and offered to cook for her parents but was told her father was going out to Tesco and then on to the Boot and Slipper pub.
She added there was “no indication” her retired father - who quit teaching and became a managing director of a tour operator - was thinking about taking his own life, ‘besides the stress of the court case’.
Michael Perkins, who was driving the Chiltern Railways train which hit Henry, said he clearly remembered sounding the horn three times as he approached the pedestrian crossing, which does not have any barriers.
He told the inquest: “I came round a bend and I saw a male with his back towards me and his arms by his side. He made no attempt to move.
“I applied the emergency break but I had about two seconds’ reaction time. It was pitch black and I couldn't see anything at all, not a thing.”
Reaching a conclusion of suicide, coroner Crispin Butler said: “He was due at Aylesbury Crown Court for sentencing, we know he had that on his mind and the likelihood of imprisonment.
“It was well publicised that another defendant received eight years so he would have known [a prison sentence] was likely.
“There was no indication on this particular evening that he was going to do something. But it is safe to say something serious was going to happen to him in two days time."
Jurors had convicted him of ten counts of indecent assault on a male and two of indecency with a child. The offences were carried out against five school pupils between 1959 and 1970.