A COMPUTER engineer died of massive injuries after lying across a track in front of an oncoming train.

Alan Riley ignored a warning blast on the train's horn and died instantly in the tragedy at Branksome station in June, a Bournemouth inquest heard yesterday.

Assistant Dorset coroner Richard Middleton heard driver Simon Mears spotted him lying face down on the track with his hands over his face but was unable to stop.

Mr Mears has undergone counselling in a bid to deal with the trauma of the incident, the coroner was told.

The inquest heard CCTV showed Mr Riley, a 58-year-old former maths teacher, entering the station at 5.38am on Thursday June 25.

He was later struck by the 5.45am Poole to London Waterloo train, which was not due to stop at Branksome, and the incident led to delays to services until around midday.

The inquest heard Mr Riley, of Ashley Road, Poole suffered from mental illness.

In a statement read to the court, his father, Ronald Riley, said there is a history of mental illness in the family and that the deceased's cousin had poisoned himself to death. He said he believes his son was suffering from a mental breakdown.

Mr Riley senior described his son's deteriorating mental state and said: "He became terrified of things. He had a little gremlin inside him."

Mr Middleton was told Alan Riley had been to hospital the previous day and told staff he was feeling suicidal. An assessment was carried out and he was allowed to go home.

Recording a suicide verdict, Mr Middleton said: "Having considered everything, I am satisfied that Mr Riley died from a deliberate act done by him.

"I think Mr Riley intended it to cause his death and that all other possible explanations have been ruled out."

For confidential help 24 hours a day, all year round call the Samaritans free on 116 123? or visit samaritans.org.