Man’s body kept in cupboard after Edgware Road tube suicide
A former stockbroker from Paddington who suffered from schizophrenia for decades threw himself in front of a train before his body was stored in a cleaning cupboard for hours, an inquest heard.
Alan Sheppard, 55, of Star Street, had a history of suicide attempts and of serious psychiatric illness, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard last Thursday.
He jumped in front of an eastbound Hammersmith and City Line train at Edgware Road station at 5am on Saturday, July 2 and was pronounced dead an hour later.
Teslin Omotoso, who was driving the first eastbound train of the day, said: “I saw this gentleman suddenly just jump, just jump in front of the train. He ran and jumped, he never tripped or fell.”
After his death, there were calls for an inquiry after it emerged his body was found in a cleaning cupboard where it had been stored for up to six hours.
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A member of staff at Transport for London was later �offered counselling.
During the inquest it was heard that Mr Sheppard had a promising youth and �successful early career as a stockbroker.
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He first experienced psychotic episodes in the mid 1980s and was then plagued with mental health problems for the next 25 years.
These episodes reached new depths in 1992 and 1993 when he made suicide attempts while on holiday in Cyprus and Corfu, but this was followed by a relatively stable period in his life.
Last year he was sectioned and later attempted a drink and drugs overdose, but in the months before his death his mental health was thought to be improving, it was said.
Mr Sheppard’s psychiatrist said he was showing no signs of psychosis and no thoughts of self-harm and had requested to be discharged from his care.
Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said his death was a “quite clear and uncontroversial” case.
She said Mr Sheppard had been “talented as a boy and gone on to be a stockbroker” and that it “appeared he worked extremely hard and then suffered a breakdown”.
She added that at his last appointment with his psychiatrist, two weeks before his death, he reported having trouble finding housing.
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide and said: “It is really quite common that people with schizophrenia choose to take their own lives.”