'Romantic' young man died in train tragedy, coroner rules

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:13 23 December 2015

Walthamstow Coroner's Court

Walthamstow Coroner's Court


A "romantic young man" committed suicide shortly after discharging himself from hospital, an inquest heard.

Ricky Williams died instantly after being hit by a train near Chadwell Heath on May 19 last year.

The 23-year-old carer, who lived in Roosevelt Way, Dagenham, had struggled with mental health problems and had turned to drink and drugs to cope, assistant coroner Ian Wade QC said at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court on Monday.

Ricky’s death followed several attempts to take his own life in the space of a few months.

On the night before his death he was admitted to Queen’s Hospital in Romford following an overdose but left its care and returned home in the morning.

Ricky, a former graffiti artist, threatened his mum with a knife when he turned up on the doorstep of the house they shared.

The police arrived and accompanied Ricky to the hospital, but he disappeared moments after checking in at reception.

“Although Ricky was in many ways physically healthy, it seems to me in many ways he was emotionally immature,” remarked Mr Wade in his closing comments.

The court heard how Ricky had suffered a broken heart when his girlfriend claimed to be pregnant.

When he was told he would no longer be a dad as she had suffered a miscarriage and the relationship ended, he was inconsolable.

“He was a romantic young man,” Mr Wade said. “He became infatuated with someone who misled him. He wasn’t able to cope. He resorted to alcohol and illicit drugs.

“It was to his credit that when he thought he was going to be a father he showed astonishing maturity and strength of character.”

The post mortem revealed Ricky had an excessive amount of alcohol in his bloodstream.

Mr Wade recommended to Queen’s consultant Akin Idowu that they implemented a “simple fix of the system” so that the hospital’s computers would pick up on the “unusual” case of a vulnerable person leaving the hospital just hours before and now returning – indicating they needed to be seen urgently.

He added: “I’m not a priest or a therapist, all I can say to the family is that it seems to me that Ricky did what he did in spite of all the love and care he received.”

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