Anxious Schoolgirl killed by train tried to climb back to platform

Schoolgirl, 16, who was stressed over her weight and GCSEs was killed by a train as she tried to scramble back on to the platform after changing her mind about killing herself, inquest hears

  • Kate Mullins worried about her impending GCSE exams and her appearance 
  • Her mother Donna told inquest: ‘She  did not know how much she was liked’ 
  • CCTV showed Kate changing her mind and trying to get back to safety
  • Train driver tried to brake but couldn’t avoid teen at Pokesdown station, Dorset
  • Coroner gave verdict of death by misadventure because she tried to save herself

Kate Mullins, 16, was anxious about school and her appearance before she died at Pokesdown station, near Bournemouth, in March this year.

An anxious schoolgirl was killed by a train after failing to climb back on to a station platform after appearing to change her mind about taking her own life, an inquest has revealed. 

Kate Mullins, 16, was worried about her impending GCSE exams and her weight leading up to her death at Pokesdown station, near Bournemouth, in March this year. 

CCTV footage showed the teenager climbing on to the tracks as a train approached – but she changed her mind and tried and failed to get back to the platform above.

She then turned to run away from the train whose driver applied the emergency brake – but Miss Mullins was struck and killed by the train travelling at 65mph. 

Her mother Donna told the Bournemouth inquest that weeks before she died she admitted she had felt like throwing herself under a car – but then said she had no intention of harming herself.

Assistant Dorset coroner Brendan Allen recorded a verdict of death by misadventure rather than suicide because it was clear Kate ‘tried to pull herself back up on to the platform’ seconds after deliberately lowering herself down on to the tracks.

The Cross Country service didn’t have any passengers on at the time of the collision in Dorset.

An inquest into Kate’s death was held in Bournemouth, where coroner Brendan Allen heard evidence from Miss Mullins’ mother Donna. 

Mrs Mullins told the hearing that despite feeling anxious about her upcoming GCSE exams.

In a statement she said: ‘She was into her fitness and had lost a lot of weight. I think she felt anxious about her appearance and used to think people did not like her.

‘She was very well liked and did not know how much she was liked. She was due to take her exams in art and design, business studies, English and maths and I know she was feeling anxious.’

Kate appears to have changed her mind about taking her own life but tragically it was too late, the inquest into her death has revealed 

Mrs Mullins said that teenager was last seen by the family leaving their home in Mudeford, Christchurch, to go to work at a local pub on the evening of March 17.

However, she never showed up and her mother reported her missing to police.

Mrs Mullins said: ‘Before she left home she was normal and laughing with her brother. He was the last member of the family to see her alive.

‘I cannot think of any reason that she would want to commit suicide.

‘She had everything to live for, I miss her now and I will miss her for the rest of my life.’

Kate was a Year 11 student at Highcliffe School and was a member of St John Ambulance Service.

Patrick Earnshaw, the head teacher of Highcliffe School, said he knew she had been feeling anxious about her exams.

He added: ‘She worked very hard, took her studies seriously. She was not any more or less anxious about her exams that any hard-working student keen to do so at this time.’

He said she had also met with the school nurse who said she showed no signs of any suicidal thoughts.

The CCTV showed Kate at the railway station at 8.25pm. She was seen to sit on a bench for five minutes before lowering herself on to the track.

Train driver Andrew Barrett said he approached the station at about 60 or 65mph.

He said: ‘I saw a female on the tracks half way down the platform. It looked like she was trying to climb back onto the platform.

‘About two seconds later the train struck her.’

Assistant Dorset coroner Brendan Allen recorded a verdict of misadventure.

He said: ‘She was anxious about her exams and had issues with her self-esteem. I do not think there is evidence of suicide as we have heard she tried to pull herself back up on to the platform.

‘I find Kate died as a result of a misadventure. Kate’s death is undoubtedly a tragedy. It shows the dangers associated with entering onto the train tracks. I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Kate’s family.’

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