AN Alvechurch man suffering from incipient schizophrenia and hyperacusis, a phenomenon where people are sensitive to noise, was struck by a train between Redditch and Alvechurch.

An inquest at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court heard that on January 29 2008, John Bernard Charlie, 38, went to the railway line near Grange Lane, Alvechurch, and lay across the track, putting his neck on the line.

Mr Charley, from Tanyard Close, Alvechurch, spent the last 10 years on different forms of medication and was on antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs.

But in the days leading up to his death Mr Charley stopped taking some of his drugs, making him stressed and anxious.

Philip Murray, who was driving the 7.27am train from Redditch to Lichfield Trent Valley, said: “I was coming to the point on the line to slow down for Alvechurch station and I saw something on the track.

“I hit the brakes and sounded the horn but I knew there was no way the train was going to stop. I was in a state of shock – I could see his face, he was facing the train.”

Following a car crash in 1987, Mr Charley had trouble with back pain and became depressed when he was told he could no longer play sports.

After becoming depressed his problems with sensitivity to noise began and in 1994 he started seeing social workers as well as doctors and psychiatrists, who diagnosed a number of conditions and prescribed several different drugs.

Dr Robin Ireland, a consultant psychiatrist at the Brookhaven Hospital, Bromsgrove, who had worked with Mr Charley, said: “In the past John had shown signs of suicidal tendencies and his previous history shows it was in his repertoire but at the time he appeared fine.

Catherine Charley, John’s mother, said: “Despite him suffering from these conditions he told me he never suffered from hearing voices, he was only having a problem with noise,” she said.

“Leading up to his death he became anxious and obsessive and was saying that the medication he was on was making him feel bad.

“I was worried that he wasn’t sleeping and he wasn't very well but there was nothing in his demeanour that raised alarm bells.”

Mrs Charley added: “On the morning of the 29th I spoke to John before going back to bed and I just can’t see him facing the train lying still, I can’t see him choosing to do that.”

The jury returned an open verdict.