Inquest Rules Havant Rail Line Death Accident

A Portsmouth inquest heard how a young chef died after he got drunk at a house party in Havant and was hit by a train at Bedhampton railway station.

21-year-old Ben Hinks downed half a bottle of Captain Morgan's rum having already drunk beers, vodkas and shots, according to friend, Sian Beresford. 

She said Mr Hinks started acting out of character, becoming violent to such an extent that four taxis refused to take him as a passenger. Miss Beresford said: 

"He was happy and fun, just started drinking quite a lot. Ben decided he wanted to get really, really drunk, said he wanted to get really smashed. 

"He wasn't himself, like he normally was." 

She said that after about three hours of trying to calm Mr Hinks down, he left on foot intending to return to the Compass Rose pub in Portsmouth where he lived and worked. 

Sergeant Mark Stook, of British Transport Police, said that he was seen on CCTV arriving at Bedhampton railway station at 5.09 am on February 22 and going into the platform shelter before climbing on to the tracks, falling and hitting his head on the platform edge. 

David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, said that his fall would have knocked him unconscious and he would not have felt the impact of the train that hit him a short time afterwards. 

A post mortem showed he died of multiple injuries and would have been about three-and-a-half times the alcohol drink drive limit. Recording a verdict of accidental death, he said: 

"I am satisfied there is nothing to suggest that Ben has done this deliberately, simply he has been out to a party, has had too much to drink. 

"I am satisfied he was deeply unconscious when this happened, I am certain he wasn't aware what was happening to him. 

"I am so awfully, awfully sorry, he was getting his life together, he had jobs , he was looking forward to the future and something silly like this happens.'' 

In a statement released after his death, Mr Hinks' family said: 

"Ben grew up to be a loving, smiling son, brother and uncle. 

"Through his life he touched many people's lives with his smiling, happy nature. 

"It has been much comfort to our family that his friends have shared so many happy memories about Ben's time with them."

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