A STRESSED Stourbridge bank worker who died at Stourbridge Junction Railway Station took his own life - a coroner has ruled.

Matthew Lyndon, who worked for HSBC, was found dead after being hit by a train at the busy station on the morning of January 16, Black Country Coroner’s Court was told today.

The 46-year-old, of Chapelfield Mews, worked as an administrator for the bank’s head office in Birmingham and he had been signed off sick with stress by his GP - the court was told.

He had received regular messages from his manager Miriam Ashton who said she referred the matter to the bank’s occupational health department.

Mr Lyndon’s partner of seven years, Caroline Garrington, told the hearing she had texted Miss Ashton to inform her that the GP had said any further contact from work should be deferred until Mr Lyndon was feeling better.

Despite this a number of further texts and calls were made and Miss Garrington said: "He felt hounded."

But Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique said he didn’t think his employees were fully aware of the extent of his work related stress and he said: “I don’t think it was explicit for his employers not to contact him.”

Mr Siddique told the court Mr Lyndon had been signed off with stress until February 3 and he had been affected by the worsening condition of his mother’s dementia. He had also told the GP he feared he may have had some of the early symptoms of early onset dementia. His doctor, however, conducted a memory test and determined that he wasn’t and he was prescribed anti depressants.

His partner said shortly before his death on January 16 he had seemed to be improving and she believed the tablets were starting to help. Prior to that he had expressed how he had been feeling tearful and he had concerns that he was unable to perform tasks in his job - having been diagnosed with ADHD 18 months earlier - although his latest performance review just before Christmas had rated his behaviour and performance as strong.

Miss Ashton described Mr Lyndon, a father-of-two, as a valued employee and she said she was devastated by news of his death.

Meanwhile - HSBC's HR leader Alexis Dolling said Miss Ashton had followed the correct policies, procedures and guidelines and had been empathetic to Mr Lyndon’s plight particularly regarding his concern about his mother’s health and future care needs.

She said Mr Lyndon's workload had been adjusted to reduce any pressures on him and she said the bank has procedures and initiatives in place to help managers correctly deal with employees experiencing mental health difficulties - and the coroner said of the situation: “I’m satisfied the processes and procedures were in place and managers have discretion.”

He told the court Mr Lyndon had left a note for his partner expressing his worries about his fear of dementia and that he did not want those close to him to go through what he was going through with his mother and this, he said, led him to record a verdict that Mr Lyndon took his own life.

He said: “There were a number of stressors in his life. I’m satisfied one was work related stress and that he perceived he had dementia and the concerns about his mother.”

He added: “The tragedy behind this is I don’t think they (his employers) were fully aware of the work related stress and how this was affecting him."

Miss Garrington, an accountant, said she and Mr Lyndon had been "very close" and she added: "We often said how lucky we were to have met our soul mate."

She described him as "kind, loving" and said: "He always took time to help family, friends and colleagues when they needed assistance. He had a great sense of humour."

She added: "We always talked about what I thought was everything."

But she said she felt, with hindsight, that Mr Lyndon "knew what decision he'd made and he was at peace in his mind" in the hours leading up to his death.

The court was told Mr Lyndon had said that morning that he was going back to sleep but it later transpired he had driven to the train station and was seen on the platform shortly before he was struck by a train heading out of the station.

British Transport Police 's rail fatality investigator, Paul Simmonds, said station staff rushed to his aid within minutes but he added: "Sadly there was nothing that could be done."

Mr Siddique expressed his condolences to the family and described Mr Lyndon's death as "an absolute tragedy".

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