DRUNK DIED AFTER FALLING ON LIVE RAIL
January 21, 2004
A REFORMED heroin addict was killed by an electric shock when he stumbled while drunk onto a live rail near Wokingham station.
An inquest at Windsor Guild Hall last Thursday heard how Alexander George Pawley had been seen staggering along the platform in the early hours on Saturday, October 4.
The 24-year-old from Greenham, near Newbury, was spotted lying between the two live rails of parallel tracks about 200 yards along the line towards Reading by a train driver later the same morning.
Witness Sean Wesson, 16, who was also drunk that night and had passed out on a seat on platform one after being let down by friends for somewhere to stay, recalled being woken up by noisy yobs.
As Mr Wesson looked around he spotted Mr Pawley lying asleep on a bench on the opposite platform.
The noise eventually stirred Mr Pawley who staggered around the platform nearly falling on to the track before collapsing back on a bench and banging his head, the inquest heard
The last Mr Wesson saw of Mr Pawley was watching him heading down the platform passing the usual exit.
CCTV footage and police reports supported Mr Wesson’s statement.
Officers and British Transport Police were called to the station at around 8am where they found Mr Pawley’s body dressed in a striped shirt and blue Wrangler jeans and Nike trainers.
A post mortem showed he had burn marks on his left arm, cheek, nose and around his neck, where a gold chain found close to the body had been worn.
A small amount of cannabis, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter were also found, along with a credit card that identified the victim.
A toxicology report confirmed Mr Pawley had been drinking heavily that night and had taken cannabis at some point in the previous few days.
A doctor’s report acknowledged Mr Pawley had been addicted to heroin but that he was off the drug following a course of methadone.
A statement from Mr Pawley’s father said he had the full support of his family and had recently begun a new job.
He had made an encouraging start but would often drink excessively on pay-day and occasionally smoked cannabis.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Peter Bedford said: “If nothing else can come from Alex’s death, then it is that you should not walk on the railway line.
“He may well have been ignorant of the danger but I would like to think it might help other people not to do the same.”