Blackburn ‘suicide rail bid’ man jailed

Lancashire Telegraph: William McNeil, who survived a suicide attempt on a railway line William McNeil, who survived a suicide attempt on a railway line

A MAN who survived an apparent suicide attempt when he laid down on rail tracks and a train drove over him has been jailed for a year.

The train driver thought he had been involved in a fatality when he slammed on his brakes but was unable to avoid running over William McNeil.

In fact, McNeil walked away with a relatively minor injury, Preston Crown Court heard yesterday.

Five hours of delays were caused, with up to 20 trains affected on the line at Mill Hill, Blackburn following the incident in June.

McNeil, 51, of Exeter Street, Blackburn, had already pleaded guilty before magistrates and was referred to the crown court for an offence of obstructing an engine or carriage.

A judge jailed him for eight months for the offence, with four months on top for breaching an earlier suspended sentence.

Bob Elias, prosecuting, said: “Probably every train driver’s worst nightmare was someone wandering or trespassing in front of them and being knocked down and run over by his train.”

The driver was heading from Blackburn towards Blackpool and approaching Mill Hill station on the morning of June 10 when he saw McNeil walk towards the track.

He sounded his horn but the defendant crossed one track and then laid down in the middle of the track where the train was on-coming.

Mr Elias said: “The train driver was quite sure he had killed him. He describes himself as being very shocked and upset.”

McNeil was found walking in the road nearby and taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital. He was drunk and confused.

Judge Stuart Baker said: “It must have been absolutely awful for the driver to think that his train had killed someone.”

Comments (10)

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9:40am Fri 4 Oct 13

burner says...

Will that really help his self-worth ?
Will that really help his self-worth ? burner

9:47am Fri 4 Oct 13

Chuck Norris' Roundhouse Kick says...

You know things are going wrong when you can't manage to get run over by a train properly!
You know things are going wrong when you can't manage to get run over by a train properly! Chuck Norris' Roundhouse Kick

9:58am Fri 4 Oct 13

buckoff says...

At last a judge with a bit of sense. No sympathy for this waste of space no thoughts for anyone but himself. That poor driver will be on edge every day at work would not be surprised if the driver has to change jobs because of this.
At last a judge with a bit of sense. No sympathy for this waste of space no thoughts for anyone but himself. That poor driver will be on edge every day at work would not be surprised if the driver has to change jobs because of this. buckoff

9:23pm Fri 4 Oct 13

superyob says...

burner wrote:
Will that really help his self-worth ?
He's a waste of space alcoholic.......... his choice of lifestyle.....he has no 'self-worth'........
.why sympathise ? What about the psychological effects on the poor drive?
[quote][p][bold]burner[/bold] wrote: Will that really help his self-worth ?[/p][/quote]He's a waste of space alcoholic.......... his choice of lifestyle.....he has no 'self-worth'........ .why sympathise ? What about the psychological effects on the poor drive? superyob

11:04pm Fri 4 Oct 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

I hear he's a heavy sleeper.
I hear he's a heavy sleeper. Milkbutnosugarplease

11:04pm Fri 4 Oct 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

I hear he's a heavy sleeper.
I hear he's a heavy sleeper. Milkbutnosugarplease

2:15am Sat 5 Oct 13

mrcool says...

These idiots don't think about the effects their actions will have on the train driver. I'll get the violins out for the mob who come on here and defend the guys actions as he has mental issues and needs help.
These idiots don't think about the effects their actions will have on the train driver. I'll get the violins out for the mob who come on here and defend the guys actions as he has mental issues and needs help. mrcool

11:16am Sat 5 Oct 13

Fire Fly says...

Mock people with mental health problems all you like, condemn them for not appreciating the feelings of others etc etc etc but as has been proved time & time again...there is a lack of services available for those seriously affected by mental health issues. People in this situation are not in control of anything, let alone rational thought.

You only have to think about the mental health patient who stabbed the 16 year old girl on the bus, he had access to services but his problems had been seriously underestimated with the most upsetting of outcomes.

I don't underestimate the effects suicides have on train drivers in any way however, they have a support network in place to help them deal with it. Many people feel the train drivers would responsible but I have to say i've not actually read any article where a train driver confirms this. We don't give the police or ambulance crews the same consideration, they have to attend every single suicide & on occasion have to watch it happen. What about workers opposite Preston bus station who witness the suicides of the jumpers?? In a nut shell, suicides are becoming an increasingly frequent event on the rail network, this can't ignored any longer & must be factored into train drivers training.

To jump, stand or lie in front of a speeding train you must have to be seriously disturbed, I very much doubt anyone does it whilst thinking clearly.
Mock people with mental health problems all you like, condemn them for not appreciating the feelings of others etc etc etc but as has been proved time & time again...there is a lack of services available for those seriously affected by mental health issues. People in this situation are not in control of anything, let alone rational thought. You only have to think about the mental health patient who stabbed the 16 year old girl on the bus, he had access to services but his problems had been seriously underestimated with the most upsetting of outcomes. I don't underestimate the effects suicides have on train drivers in any way however, they have a support network in place to help them deal with it. Many people feel the train drivers would responsible but I have to say i've not actually read any article where a train driver confirms this. We don't give the police or ambulance crews the same consideration, they have to attend every single suicide & on occasion have to watch it happen. What about workers opposite Preston bus station who witness the suicides of the jumpers?? In a nut shell, suicides are becoming an increasingly frequent event on the rail network, this can't ignored any longer & must be factored into train drivers training. To jump, stand or lie in front of a speeding train you must have to be seriously disturbed, I very much doubt anyone does it whilst thinking clearly. Fire Fly

11:33am Sun 6 Oct 13

joinerpat says...

I frequently talk to a friend of mine who is employed by Virgin Rail, These type of incidents are occuring all over the country on a regular basis, the majority of offenders are alcohol or drug abuse users that can no longer cope with life, This is a self inflicted disease amongst weaker minded people from all walks of life.
In our discussion I asked him about the effects it had on train drivers, To which he replied, most of them that run someone over get depressed and turn to alcohol or drugs, and end up throwing theirselves under a train.
I frequently talk to a friend of mine who is employed by Virgin Rail, These type of incidents are occuring all over the country on a regular basis, the majority of offenders are alcohol or drug abuse users that can no longer cope with life, This is a self inflicted disease amongst weaker minded people from all walks of life. In our discussion I asked him about the effects it had on train drivers, To which he replied, most of them that run someone over get depressed and turn to alcohol or drugs, and end up throwing theirselves under a train. joinerpat

10:08pm Sun 6 Oct 13

Darwen Malc says...

Suicide is a selfish act full stop, as it affects all the remaining family members, friends, and in these cases, people going about their normal jobs. But it is easy for me to say that, speaking rationally. What must be going through the minds of the person committing the act, I dread to think, as something horrendous must be plaguing their minds for them to carry it through.
Suicide is a selfish act full stop, as it affects all the remaining family members, friends, and in these cases, people going about their normal jobs. But it is easy for me to say that, speaking rationally. What must be going through the minds of the person committing the act, I dread to think, as something horrendous must be plaguing their minds for them to carry it through. Darwen Malc

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