Railtrack death due to 'depressive illness'

A Sunday Times journalist who died on the railtrack at Kings Langley suffered from severe depression, his inquest heard today.

Welsh-born Christopher Morgan, 55, was killed when he jumped from the platform on May 30 this year.

The religious affairs correspondent, who was living in London, was being cared for at a crisis centre for people suffering from mental health problems at the time of his death.

Carers told Hatfield Coroner's Court this afternoon that he had talked about committing suicide at a train station, but claimed he 'did not have the courage' to go through with it.

It is believed he may have travelled to Kings Langley with the intention of visiting friends in Berkhamsted before deciding to take his own life.

Hertfordshire's coroner Edward Thomas said reports from Mr Morgan's friends and care workers described him as a sociable man who enjoyed being around people.

"Chris was clearly a very different person to the person he was in his times of despair," he said.

A statement read from Mr Morgan's friend, William Becket, said he was a 'lovely person' whose mother's death in 2005 had affected him badly.

Mr Becket said his friend was very generous and 'lived beyond his means' and the inquest heard that debt was a cause of anxiety for Mr Morgan.

He was being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants at the time of his death, but was reluctant to take the latter because he believed they induced neurosis.

Mr Thomas recorded cause of death as multiple injuries.

He ruled that Mr Morgan had taken his own life as a result of a depressive illness.

He said: "There are very different levels of depression. What Chris had was a serious illness, and he would not have done what he did had he not been suffering from it."