Family of ‘intelligent, beautiful and strong’ Manea man urge others to seek help for depression following inquest
- Credit: Archant
On the surface he had everything to live for. Aaron Mayes had a loving partner, a caring family and a career in which he excelled.
But on October 25 last year Aaron, 23, went with “some sense of urgency” to the rail line at Manea – and stepped in front of the 11.01am Cambridge to Birmingham train. He died instantly.
At an inquest in Chatteris on Wednesday his family, still reeling from the tragedy, issued a statement in which they urged others to watch for signs of depression in a bid to prevent further lives being lost.
Laurence Mayes and Jan Boardman and their daughter Janey issued their heartfelt family appeal after hearing how Aaron took his own life by running around a lowered barrier onto the tracks at the Wisbech Road crossing.
The inquest at the South Fens Business Park in Chatteris heard how Aaron, a trainee civil engineer, had suffered panic attacks and anxiety in the weeks leading up to his death and had undergone tests after reporting heart pain and tingling in his arms and legs.
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On the day he died Aaron, who was described as an exemplary employee by his colleagues at Morton Hall Consultancy in March, told his mum he was fed-up with the trembling in his legs, symptoms she tried to reassure him were normal with panic attacks.
Witness Terry Smith told how Aaron had run around the lowered barriers before standing in the middle of the track with his arms raised.
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Mr Smith said: “I noticed a person stood at the side of a red car parked in a farm drive facing the level crossing 10 to 15 yards from the crossing.
“I noticed the person began to a fast movement towards the level crossing.
“There was some sense of urgency in his manner. I watched the male run around the lowered barrier and stand on the rail tracks and raise his arms. In my opinion it was a deliberate act.”
Coroner William Morris said that although Aaron had left no suicide note he was forced to conclude he had acted deliberately to end his own life.
Statement by Aaron’s parents Laurence Mayes and Jan Boardman and sister Janey Mayes:
“Aaron was a wonderful, gifted young man whose personality and thoughtfulness shone through. A gentle giant who was attentive to his family and friends and would never put himself before them.
“Not wanting to upset or worry anybody unduly, Aaron would cleverly hide his anxieties and negative feelings. But it was anxiety which very quickly and unexpectedly pushed Aaron into a state of depression. Not knowing where to turn or how, his depression would eventually take his life.
“We love you Aaron and miss you dearly. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts.
“We would like to thank everyone for their compassion and support which has helped us face this terrible tragedy. All of our family and friends, the British Transport Police, medical services and our village community we thank you.
“Please, we would encourage anybody who may feel as if life has become too much to bear or if they are struggling with day to day experiences or even if they are feeling a little down, talk to somebody about how you feel, be as open as you can. There are people who care and can help you through difficult times.”
Statement by Aaron’s girlfriend Grace Housley-Stott:
“Aaron was a kind hearted, loving and loyal boyfriend who I was lucky enough to share my life with.
“He was a caring and sensitive person who was loved by everyone who knew him. He was devoted to his family, friends and to me.
“He had a quick witted and rye sense of humour and loved to make people laugh. Aaron was passionate about his career at Morton and Hall and always spoke fondly about his work family.
“We were extremely proud that Anglia Ruskin University awarded Aaron his degree in civil engineering posthumously.
“Although the outcome of today’s inquest has come as no surprise to us – we choose and want Aaron to be remembered for the intelligent, beautiful and strong man he was.”