News, Culture & Society

Burnage teen died on train tracks after splitting with girlfriend

A teenage college student jumped into the path of a passenger train after he twice broke up with his girlfriend.

Bradley Kelly, 18, appeared to be coping with the split but he smashed up a TV at his family home in a fit of anger and subsequently went to stay with a friend.

Shortly after his mother asked for him to come home, Bradley inexplicably stepped off the platform at Burnage railway station in South Manchester and fell under the wheels of train as it was pulling in.

Bradley Kelly, 18, left, had sought medical help from his GP after he first split with his girlfriend in August 2016, however when they split a second time in April 2017, the engineering student smashed up the television set at his family’s home and was later found dead on railway tracks

An inquest heard he died from multiple injuries in the tragedy on April 11 last year.

Bradley – who studied engineering at Stockport College – was described by friends as a talented footballer, a ‘lovely guy and a wonderful lad’.’ But he suffered a bout of depression after he first broke up with his girlfriend in August 2016 and went to see a doctor.

Bradley’s mother Julie Burns, from Burnage told the Manchester hearing: ‘A year before he died, Brad had an emotional episode. He went for a meal with a friend and afterwards, his friend knocked on the door and said Bradley was in the car saying things about the train station.

‘I said “you cannot be thinking things like that”. It was not Bradley. He went to the doctor’s for help saying he had been getting thoughts in his head but after he was given medication he went back to being Bradley again and he was fine.

‘He was at college doing engineering and although he found it a little bit difficult, Bradley was a do-er – he knuckled down.’

Bradley and his girlfriend who was not named at the hearing rekindled their romance but they broke up again in March last year for undisclosed reasons.

Mrs Burns added: ‘Brad had an emotional breakup but it is not fair on the girl he was with to talk about it. On the Saturday before he died he was in high spirits but when he came home that night, it it escalated from there and I can’t get it into my head why.

‘I got home on the Sunday morning and he had smashed the TV. I don’t know if he had had a bad argument but he rung me and said that he did not know why he smashed the television. He was short tempered anyway.’

Bradley went to stay at the home of his ex-girlfriend’s uncle with whom he was friendly and Mrs Burns sent a text to her asking her son to come home. But shortly afterwards Bradley walk to the end of the railway station platform and jump into the path of the locomotive giving the driver no chance to stop in time. Police investigated but found no suspicious circumstances.

Mrs Burns added: ‘On Tuesday evening I texted to ask if Brad okay as he needed to come home. The reply I got back was that Bradley was fine. But lads do not talk about it.

‘I don’t know how someone can go from so happy on Saturday evening. What happened from him going home, to me coming home from work in the morning. We will never know. I just cannot understand.

‘He did not show any signs of what led up to what he did. He was great on the Saturday – I just don’t understand what has gone on. ‘

Recording a narrative conclusion assistant coroner Angharad Davies said: ‘Bradley was on an engineering course and had a girlfriend who had a positive impact on his life. There came point when they broke up in August 2016 but Brad had the maturity and foresight to make an appointment for himself to see his GP. The GP started Brad on some medication and notified his mother about the visit.

‘He got back with his girlfriend and stabilised. Bradley seemed to be normal over Christmas and was with his loving family but in March he and his girlfriend split up again.

‘He appeared to be coping well and spent Saturday being happy and seemed in a good mood. But a TV was smashed and Brad could not remember why he had damaged it. Brad had a short temper but it did not cause significant alarm bells.

‘He staying at his ex-girlfriend’s uncles house – they got on well. He had been there for a day and his mother called and Brad was well. She was told that he was okay staying at the uncle’s house, and was expected to be back in the next day or so but it was the last time she heard about his well being.’

Miss Davies added: ‘If I am to enter suicide it requires me to be sure he took his own life and intended to do so. I am sure this was a deliberate act but I’m not sure whether he intended to take his own life.

‘I know he had broken up with his girlfriend for a second time and on the previous occasion, he had to go and see his GP. He caused damage to his mother’s house before he died.

‘But he left no note and I cannot beyond reasonable doubt say Brad intended to take his own life. He was clearly troubled. This could have been the unintended consequence of a deliberate act.’

Wellwishers raised £1,500 for Bradley’s family following his death. One wrote on the Just Giving site: ‘The ripple effect of the tragic news has left his friends and the local community devastated.’ 

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