A HAMPSHIRE man died after jumping from a footbridge and being struck by a freight train, an inquest heard.

Phillip Brooks climbed onto the verge at Southampton Central Station and dropped onto the tracks into the path of a train travelling from Eastleigh to Southampton, Winchester Coroner’s Court heard.

The court heard that Mr Brooks, who was of no fixed address and living in Southampton at the time of the incident, had a history of drug use and was prescribed methadone.

Dr Sanjay Jogai, of Southampton General Hospital, said the 46-year-old died of multiple injuries, including fractures to his vertebrae and ribs, and bleeding on his lungs and liver.

Toxicology results showed that Mr Brooks had morphine in his blood – a break-down product of heroin – as well as methadone.

In a statement read in court, Richard Darke, the driver of the freight train, said he was driving at around 25 miles per hour, lower than the speed limit for passing through a station, when the incident happened at 4.30am on June 11 last year.

“I saw a person on the footbridge ahead,” he said.

“He then slid himself up onto the side. I couldn’t have avoided the collision.”

His sister Andrea said Mr Brooks had been dependent on drugs and alcohol since about the age of 15.

“He was constantly in the drug scene,” she said.

“He was paranoid. He wanted to get back to prison because he felt safe there.”

When asked about his actions in the days leading up to his death, she added: “I just feel that the fact that he was worried about his methadone two days before and his paranoia, and the train was going at a slow speed. I don’t think he expected to die. I think he just wanted a bit of help.”

Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said Mr Brooks’ actions were deliberate, but that he could not be sure he intended to end his life.

However, he added the decision to jump meant it could not be considered an accidental death.

“It is clear that he was in a confused mental state with talk of getting away from people who were after him,” he said.

He gave a narrative verdict, saying Mr Brooks had climbed onto the footbridge and dropped into the path of the approaching train.