A mother who was behind on her rent and bills cradled her three-year-old daughter in her arms and “jumped” on to train tracks, where they were both killed, an inquest has heard.
Leighane Melsadie Redmond had been taken to court over unpaid bills, the inquest at Beaconsfield Coroners Court heard today (November 15).
The 27-year-old was seen with her daughter Melsadie Adella-Rae Parris at Taplow station in Buckinghamshire on February 18, 2019 for one hour and 12 minutes before their deaths.
Ms Redmond was seen wrapped in a poncho, walking hand in hand with Melsadie, who was dressed in a little furry parker jacket and wearing a winter hat and gloves.
Describing CCTV footage showing the mother and daughter, Assistant Coroner Ian Wade KC said: “Sadly, what we can see is that she gathers Melsadie up in her arms and jumps carefully from the platform and is then struck by the train.”
British Transport Police had declared the deaths a suspicious incident and an investigation was launched by their Major Crime team.
The inquest heard Ms Redmond had a bill to her electricity supplier of £334 outstanding, a bill to her gas supplier of £638 and she was in rent arrears of £1499.37.
DS Rees said: “Leighane Redmond had several debts in several forms. On the day she had received news that some of her debt burdens had been relieved, if she had entered into a payment agreement which she did, and she was supposed to have started a new employment so her financial situation was potentially going to change.”
At 6.30am that morning, at which time Melsadie was with her father Leroy Parris, Ms Redmond had checked her bank balance at a garage.
She later made a number of phone calls, including one to her prospective employer and another “fairly lengthy” call with her landlord, Hightown Housing Association.
By 6pm, CCTV footage showed that Ms Redmond was with Melsadie and she tried to book an Uber to Beaconsfield and made a call to her mother.
Shortly afterwards, Ms Redmond and Melsadie were seen to enter Taplow station and the pair remained at the station for around 20 minutes.
Commenting on the CCTV footage of Ms Redmond, DS Rees said: “Her behaviour, as a police officer watching, was not normal.
“Her movements around the station, going from one side of the station to the other, going down to the station and back up, was an unusual pattern of behaviour. Had police been observing her, they would have approached her her because of her behaviour.”
The coroner said: “At this stage, Melsadie is becoming rather frustrated and upset with her. There is a good deal of toing and froing.”
Eventually, Ms Redmond came to a platform which was cordoned off to the public, as it was only a thoroughfare for fast trains which did not stop. She was seen “pushing” and “kicking” against a gate to the platform.
Mr Wade said: “The next thing she appears to do, is she picks Melsadie up and literally hoists her over and places her on the platform.”
Mr Wade, describing the footage, said: “She takes Melsadie’s hand and walks relatively slowly. It is six minutes after she places herself on to that platform that she places herself in the path of the train.”
The inquest continues.
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