A LOVING father and successful chef died after being hit by a train following work-related stress, an inquest heard.

Anthony Michael Flanagan, 44, was working 80-hour weeks as a chef leading up to his death at Sherborne rail station last year.

In July 2022, he was travelling home to Bolton, Lancashire after working away in Devon but suffered from a mental health decline during his journey.

An inquest held at Bournemouth Town Hall on November 9 heard that Mr Flanagan was a loving husband, son and father to one little girl, and his partner was expecting a boy.

His brother, Christopher Flanagan, said Anthony worked across the world as a chef to provide for his family.

Area coroner for Dorset, Brendan Allen, noted that in the weeks leading to his death, Mr Flanagan had been working between 65 to 85 hours a week.

On July 31, 2022, he used an emergency phone line in Exeter to alert emergency services that he was feeling suicidal.

At 11.40am, PC Daniel Thompson of the British Transport Police was alerted to the call and on route was advised that there was an unidentified man on the tracks at Exeter St Davids rail station.

At 11.55am, Stuart Marshall, duty station manager, located Mr Flanagan walking away from the tracks.

Mr Flanagan told him he was unfamiliar with the area and was trying to find the most direct route to get home.

Mr Marshall, who was unaware Mr Flanagan had made an emergency call, then directed him to the ticket office.

Paul Marder, paramedic for South Western Ambulance Service, then told the court that whilst waiting in traffic in the Exeter St Davids area, a man approached his vehicle asking for help.

Mr Flanagan told him his head felt ‘jumbled’ but when the paramedic offered to take him to hospital or a lift to the train station he declined.

Later in the day, police responded to a second report of a man on the tracks at Exeter St Davids station.

Assuming the two trespassers were the same person, a PC Matthews searched the station out of a concern for welfare.

He was advised Mr Flanagan had boarded a train to London Waterloo, so he drove to another station in the hope of intercepting the train, but missed it.

Shaun Carol from British Transport Police told the court that Mr Flanagan got off a train at 5.36pm at Sherborne station.

At 5.49pm, a train driver reported that a man who had been hidden in bushes had emerged in front of the train.

Mr Flanagan was later identified, and a post-mortem by Dr Simon Rasbridge confirmed he died from multiple injuries.

The coroner concluded that although Mr Flanagan's intentions had fluctuated throughout the day, at the time of his death he intended to take his life and died as a result of suicide.

Mr Flanagan's family said in a statement: “Anthony was a hard working, loving man.

“He would do anything for his family and friends.

“He adored his young family and would provide everything he could for them.

“He will be greatly missed by so many people.”

• Anyone can contact Samaritans free 24/7. Call 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit samaritans.org for more information.