Mother pays tribute to ‘kind and giving’ Balcombe son who died on railway

Lewis Walkey
Lewis Walkey

A mother has paid tribute to her ‘kind and giving’ son who died on the railway tracks in Balcombe.

Lewis Walkey, 26, from Boston Court, Haywards Heath, was hit by a train at Balcombe Railway Station on May 23 2014, an inquest heard last Thursday.

At Horsham’s County Hall North, assistant deputy coroner, Christopher Wilkinson, delivered an open conclusion stating the evidence that he had heard ‘could not prove beyond reasonable doubt’ that Lewis had suicidal thoughts and ever intended to kill himself.

After the inquest Lewis’ mother, Alex Wells, said: “He was a well loved, loyal, kind and giving young man.

“He was fun loving, a joker and a true friend.

“He grew up in Haywards Heath and attended St Joseph’s Catholic Primary and St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill.

“After he left school he went to Crawley College and started working for Caffyns in Haywards Heath.

“He went to work for Esso and was well loved by staff.

“He was your typical fun loving lad and was always acting the clown.

“Did he intend to kill himself, I don’t think he did.”

Mrs Wells said many of his friends past and present turned up to pay their respects at his funeral.

At his wake afterwards where they released Chinese lanterns to celebrate Lewis’ life.

She added: “I would like to thank all his friends and extended family for all their support over the past six months.

“I would also like to thank the mental health services and early intervention team.

“He is going to be well missed by a wide range of people.”

During the inquest Richard Fraser, who worked with Lewis, said that the 26-year-old was being treated for a mental health condition and had received an injection the day before his death.

Mrs Wells said that Lewis told her he was feeling agitated and unwell after receiving his treatment, but Dr Fraser said it was unlikely the medication had caused this and it may have been down to the fear of getting the injection.

He also said the medication Lewis had received the day before his death was unlikely to have had an effect on his thought processes.

Dr Fraiser said: “Lewis was in a good place with his mental health at that time.

“He was starting to think about the future and things he wanted to do.

“There were no warning signs and this comes from someone who had known him well before.”

Mr Wilkinson said that an argument Lewis had had before his death also seemed unlikely to have changed his thought process dramatically, and he had not left any evidence to say that he ever planned on ending his life.

Summing up, he said: “I am afraid that I am going to have conclude that this is an open conclusion.

“There is the evidence that Lewis took his own life but I can not say beyond reasonable doubt he intended to do so.

“I do not have the evidence to get into Lewis’ mind and find out why he did it.”