A BELOVED journalist from Swindon died after stepping in front of an oncoming train, an inquest heard.

The family of Kelly Jobanputra loudly protested assistant coroner Ian Singleton’s verdict of suicide after they unsuccessfully argued that the 40-year-old had gone to the railway tracks under the Thornhill Road bridge on April 26 as a cry for help gone wrong.

Mr Singleton said: “The question of the conclusion is an emotive one for the family and one they feel deeply with their knowledge of Kelly.

“However, I have to base my verdict on the evidence I have heard. The area required a determined effort to reach by climbing over a barrier. She went away from the public eye and I don’t think she tried to draw attention to herself.

“Kelly stood in front of a train travelling at speed which would inevitably strike her. She intended to take her own life.

“I am not convinced that she had the intention to take her life when she last left home but something changed in that period of time before she walked onto the railway line.

“The root cause analysis report from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership indicated signs were missed but only in hindsight.”

Train driver John Diller, said in a statement that he saw a woman crouched on a concrete embankment looking in his direction around 2.10pm. The woman then jumped casually onto the line, walked into the train’s path as he repeatedly sounded the horn and braked, then she stopped and stared at him with her hands over her ears.

He was “One hundred per cent certain that her decisions were intentional.”

Mrs Jobanputra, nee Stooke, suffered from anxiety and depression after the death of her brother Corrie in 2003, which was at its worst after the birth of her daughter in 2014 but returned after the birth of her son in 2018.

She spent a number of weeks in mother-and-baby units and mental health facilities around the county including Applewood House. On the day of her death, she had cancelled an appointment with AWP to attend her uncle’s funeral then decided to go home at 11am instead of attend the wake.

Her family did not think anything was unusual and saw her in good spirits when they returned home at 1pm. She went to get some milk, visit AWP to deliver a letter asking for her care coordinator to be changed, and then pick her daughter up.

She called home shortly afterwards to ask her mum to collect her daughter instead because traffic was bad. Her final call was to her husband Vikesh at 2.02pm, saying she felt unwell and wanted to know when he would be back from work. He reassured her that he would be back in a few hours and encouraged her to stay in the company of her family.

Loved ones reported her missing after she did not return home for her son’s bath at 6pm and Wiltshire Police delivered the bad news to her shocked relatives around 11pm.

Mum Danusia Stooke said: “She had become despondent and thought that the agencies who were supposed to help her were losing interest and that she had been abandoned by them.

“However, there was no serious indication that she intended to end her life. No matter how bad she got, she always thought about her family and her children’s welfare, that was all-consuming for her and over-ruled the black thoughts.”

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In the months before her death, Mrs Jobanputra had worried about the side effects of her medication and requested that it be changed.

After this change, Kelly repeatedly visited a GP in Taw Hill in March complaining of nausea, weight loss and abdominal pain. A statement from the GP said Kelly had expressed concerns about worsening suicidal thoughts which included stepping in front of a train but stressed that she had no intention of acting on them.

Kelly had criticised her care coordinator for being cold and, due to a mix cancelled appointments because of family commitments and the coordinator going on leave for a few days, they had not spoken face-to-face for over a month.

The care coordinator told the inquest that possible concerns over Kelly’s suicidal thoughts were, on balance, lessened by her excitement over plans for the future, her emphasis on the importance of her family and her not intending to act on these thoughts. The change of care coordinator was prioritised over any further risk assessment or action because it was thought that this change would help ease Kelly’s anxieties.

Medical director for the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust said: “Kelly’s death was a tragic event and we offer our sincere condolences to her family.”

Kelly’s father John Stooke called the suicide verdict a disgrace and a scandal.

He added: “The family put a fully-researched and highly detailed assessment of the run up, circumstances and events which led to Kelly’s death.

“The coroner refused to admit this into evidence on the basis it was opinion. We are disgusted at the outcome but further recourse to law will simply drag out the pain and not bring Kelly back to us.”

Mr Stooke referred to previous cries for help which he said Kelly had done out of frustration with the perceived lack of support she had received from mental health services.

Her car had an overnight bag which Mr Stooke argued that she had packed because she had expected to be admitted as an inpatient to a mental health facility after her visit to deliver the letter, and she left no suicide note.

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article and need support, please contact the Samaritans on 116123.