Suicide of bright young business analyst at Wimbledon Station a "terrible, terrible tragedy" says coroner

Sutton Guardian: Zane Phillips, 40, who died at Wimbledon Station in February Zane Phillips, 40, who died at Wimbledon Station in February

A "bright young interactive" business analyst committed suicide by jumping in front of a high-speed train at Wimbledon Station, a court heard this morning.

Zane Phillips, of Worple Road, Wimbledon, had no medical history of mental health problems but his best friend, Helen Quinn, speaking at Westminster Coroner's Court today, said he "had his ups and downs."

The 40-year-old, who had worked for Thomson Reuters since 2010 and volunteered at Cancer Research black tie events, entered the station at about 9.30pm on Saturday, February 22.

Wearing headphones and a dark jacket, he walked along the edge of the platform before turning back, exiting the station and returning again about 10 minutes later at 9.56pm.

Graham Mason, who was driving the Bournemouth to London Waterloo at the usual speed of 75mph as it approached Wimbledon Station, said Mr Philipps leant against the waiting room, before "he suddenly ran and threw himself off the platform."

Mr Phillips had sent a text to a friend at 9.50pm suggesting he might jump in front of a train and another friend alerted the police, but it was too late.

He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of multiple injuries.

Mr Phillips left hand-written notes to friends and family on the platform, saying "I am sorry", "to my best friend Helen to accept my apologies" and to his sister Karina saying, "you will never know how great you are."

Helen Quinn, who met Mr Phillips nearly 12 years ago said: "He had his ups and downs as long as I've known him. He was a very, very bright person and...he had some challenges."

Mr Phillips' father broke down in tears as he listened to the verdict in court today. Mr Phillips also leaves behind his sister Karina Phillips, of Carshalton, Sutton.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe, said: "He was a young bright interactive young man with friends and supportive family, everything to live for really, but clearly had some demons of his own.

"Sadly it's the case that young people who tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to get everything just right find that it's overwhelming and the only way of escaping from that pressure and stress is to take their own lives."

Describing the incident as a "terrible, terrible tragedy", Dr Radcliffe recorded a verdict of suicide, noting it was "most unusual"as Mr Phillips had no history of depression or self-harm.

Following several deaths in front of fast trains at Wimbledon station, safety fencing has recently been introduced to restrict access to the platforms used by these trains.

Tributes to Mr Phillips, who lived in South London for much of his life, were sent into the Wimbledon Guardian following his death in February.

Anyone considering suicide is urged to call the HOPElineUK helpline on 0800 0684141.

Leave a tribute below or e-mail louisa.clarence@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (1)

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6:18pm Sat 19 Jul 14

alroutemaster says...

My condolences are to Graham Mason, the driver of the train. I hope he will recover from this traumatic experience which was none of his doing.
My condolences are to Graham Mason, the driver of the train. I hope he will recover from this traumatic experience which was none of his doing. alroutemaster
  • Score: 8
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