A BRAVE policeman told an inquest how he tried in vain to stop a man killing himself by walking into the path of a high-speed train on the West Coast Main Line near Kendal.

Sergeant Dominic Quinn was one of several officers called to Singleton Park Bridge, on Sedbergh Road, where electrician Darryl Lee Adams, 64, of Bamber Bridge, near Preston, was on the line.

The inquest had heard that earlier in the day - August 3 2011 - Mr Adams had called his mental health worker in Lancashire ‘expressing an interest in taking his own life’.

A search was mounted with officers in Lancashire tracking his whereabouts by mobile phone. They were able to tell officers in Cumbria that he was in the Hayclose Road area of Kendal.

The jury inquest was told that the Cumbrian officers focused their search on Singleton Park Bridge after their Lancashire colleagues said they could hear trains in the background.

Sgt Quinn said that when Mr Adams saw officers looking down at him from the bridge, he stepped between the rails and walked underneath out of sight.

“He was clearly at immediate risk of death and I could hear my colleague calling for urgent help, including getting trains put on caution,” said Sgt Quinn. “I took my fluorescent jacket off, because that can be intimidating, and climbed over the fence and down the bank. Mr Adams was just a few feet ahead of me, carrying a can of lager.

“I only had time to say: ‘Whatever is causing you a problem, I’m sure I can help’,” when I heard a high speed train coming. Mr Adams stood round, facing the train, and made a cruciform shape.

“I turned into the bank and held onto foliage, then the train struck him. He didn’t engage me at all, despite what I said.”

Letters, handwritten by Mr Adams stating his intention to take his own life, along with photographs of his children were found at his home.

A pathologist’s report revealed Mr Adams’ blood alcohol level was 78 miligrammes - high enough for a person to ‘experience euphoria, an exaggerated emotional state, increased self-confidence, decreased inhibitions and impaired judgement.’ The hearing was told that weeks earlier his wife, Elizabeth Adams, had left him to escape what she said was ‘severe physical violence’ causing her to fear for her safety.

Mrs Adams, of Serpentine Road, Kendal, said her husband was taking prescription anti-depressant citalopram but ‘abused alcohol’ and would often become ‘exceedingly drunk’.

She said she had no contact with him after she left him and suspected Mr Adams returned to Kendal as that is where they met.

A jury of ten returned a verdict of suicide.

Coroner Ian Smith praised Sgt Quinn’s efforts and said he would write to Cumbria Constabulary recommending he is commended.