AN investigation into why a Pendle resident jumped off a railway viaduct in Colne produced no firm evidence at the scene, an inquest heard.

But Craig Boal had left a note behind at his home in Brierfield, which police discovered shortly after his death at the Knotts Lane bridge.


Mr Boal, 38, was found collapsed underneath the viaduct just after 1pm on May 31, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.

East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said that people nearby had heard the sound of the impact but had not seen Mr Boal fall. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Later after a post-mortem examination by Dr Muammer Al-Mudhaffer, the body was identified by his father. Det Sgt Paul Barlow, of Pendle Police, said he was on duty on the day in question when he was called to the Knotts Lane area to a report of a sudden death.

The emergency services immediately established a cordon around the site of the fall, which occurred just yards from the Knotts Lane flats.

In a statement DS Barlow he said that, in company with a police constable, he walked from nearby Colne railway station to the point on the viaduct where the deceased fell but no belongings were found there.

No CCTV footage could also be traced, from the immediate area, which may have showed Mr Boal’s progress along the railway line before he fell.

Later the police visited Mr Boal’s home, in Humphrey Street, and discovered a note which appeared to relate to his death, the inquest was told.

His family, who are believed to live in the Crumlin area of Northern Ireland and were unable to attend the East Lancashire hearing, were also contacted in the wake of his death but could shed no more light on his mood at the time, the court heard.

Further enquiries found he had previously been treated by his GP for depression.

The coroner said: “Given that he was on the viaduct, and given the note that was found at his home, I have little option but to reach a conclusion of suicide. I can only extend my sympathies to the man’s family.”

Mr Boal, the son of Pat and Laurie Boal, had two brothers, Lawrence and Jack. His funeral took place in Antrim, in early June.