Man who had voices telling him he would be ‘thrown from bridge’ died when he landed on train tracks

PUBLISHED: 15:57 13 July 2017

Matthew David died when he landed on the tracks at Highbridge Railway Station. Picture: Google

Matthew David died when he landed on the tracks at Highbridge Railway Station. Picture: Google


A man who suffered from psychosis and schizophrenia died of head and chest injuries when he went over a footbridge barrier and landed on train tracks.

Matthew David, aged 30, died on April 2 this year at Highbridge Railway Station.

An inquest into his death was held at Somerset Coroners Court today (Thursday) and coroner Tony Williams was told Mr David had a long history of mental illness.

Mr David was born in Bridgwater but at the time of his death was living alone at a flat in Old Market Street, Highbridge.

A statement from consultant psychiatrist Dr Chris Mortimore said Mr David first came into contact with mental health specialists when he was 19 years old.

His mental health deteriorated while he was living at home with his parents, and he had several spells where he was detained under the mental health act for months at a time.

The court was told Mr David would unplug the TV and broadband box if he was home alone, and he complained about hearing voices.

The statement from Dr Mortimore said his voices were ‘threatening’ and added: “They were predicting bad things happening to him and that included being thrown over a bridge and beaten up.

“He admitted having suicidal thoughts as a result.”

In the lead up to his death, Mr David was being treated for psychosis and schizophrenia and had been discharged from mental health services and was under the care of his GP.

Mr Williams said: “There doesn’t appear to be any trigger before the incident. It looks like his symptoms were normal for him, he was suffering from symptoms he’d had for years.”

Witnesses said Mr David was alone on the footbridge minutes before his death but no-one saw him land on the tracks.

Mr Williams recorded a narrative conclusion, and said: “Mr David went over the barrier on the footbridge and landed on the railway track. He suffered fatal injuries but his intention at the time is not known.”

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