‘Bullied’ schoolboy, 14, with a secret addiction to energy drinks died after jumping into the path of a train in front of horrified classmates, inquest hears
- Sam Connor died days before his school broke up for the summer holidays
- 14-year-old had ‘addiction’ to energy drinks which parents did not know about
- The youngster had expressed suicidal thoughts to his friends, inquest was told
A 14-year-old who had a ‘secret’ addiction to energy drinks died after he jumped in front of a train in front of his classmates, an inquest heard today.
Sam Connor died when he was hit by a train at Chertsey Railway Station just days before his school broke up for the summer holidays.
Dozens of horrified students watched as the teenager ‘walked in front of the train’ as they were on their way home, the coroner heard.
Sam had trouble sleeping, was eating very little and drinking a significant number of energy drinks in the run-up to his death.
The youngster had also expressed ‘suicidal ideation’ or the thought of wanting to take your own life, to his friends, the inquest was told.
Sam Connor, 14 (pictured left with his mother Christine and his brother James) died at Chertsey railway station in front of horrified classmates
On the day of his death, Sam had finished school and was waiting for a train home to Ashford at 4pm when he ‘climbed down onto the tracks’ and was struck by an oncoming train, suffering fatal injuries.
It was reported dozens of classmates witnessed the tragedy.
Richard Travers, senior coroner for Surrey, told the pre-inquest review in Woking he was ‘anxious to discover’ more about Sam’s consumption of energy drinks, teamed with his poor appetite.
The coroner said: ‘There is some discussion in the papers I have about Sam drinking a lot of these high energy drinks and the fact he was not the best of eaters.
‘He did not eat a great deal and he told his friends he did not sleep well – that is an area we may need to explore and find expert opinion on.
‘If you have a teenage boy who is drinking high energy drinks and not eating a great deal of food, what effect that might have on a young metabolism is another area we ought to look at.’
Sam’s father James Connor told the coroner they were not aware of their son’s energy drink habit.
Sam’s mother Christine, told the coroner: ‘I have one issue with the school which I would like to ask. How are people with anxiety dealt with at school? It was recorded Sam had anxiety, what policies are in place for people with anxiety?’
Mr Travers confirmed that the questions would be dealt with in the full inquest for which a date had yet to be confirmed.
The coroner told James Kibble, headteacher of Salesian Secondary School in Chertsey, where Sam attended: ‘I am not suggesting there was any prior knowledge but what is the situation where pupils are expressing such ideas to friends?
‘What I will want to know is what does the school do, if anything, if pupils show suicidal ideation? It seems to me that is an area that needs exploration.’
Mr Travers warned Mr and Mrs Connor, who were not legally represented, to consider whether they wanted to see all the evidence.
He told them: ‘Some of the documents make difficult reading which includes the CCTV footage. That it is going to be very difficult. You have got to think to yourselves, once you have seen it, you have seen it.
‘The pathologist’s report does not make easy reading. Some families do not want to see it, you need to think about it, which is why I haven’t disclosed it to you. Just think about it.’
Detective Sergeant Simon Rees representing British Transport Police, told the inquest that 30,000 pages of data were extracted from the teenager’s iPhone.
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