Grieving boyfriend killed himself on railway tracks just six days after his girlfriend’s death

Adam Howarth (left) and Chloe Spencer (right) had been in a relationship for 11 months and had faced many 'ups and downs'

Adam Howarth (left) and Chloe Spencer (right) had been in a relationship for 11 months and had faced many 'ups and downs'

Adam Howarth (left) and Chloe Spencer (right) had been in a relationship for 11 months and had faced many ‘ups and downs’

A grieving boyfriend killed himself on railway tracks just six days after his girlfriend’s death left him ‘heartbroken’, as his mother says he was a ‘wonderful son’.

Adam Howarth had been in an 11-month relationship with Chloe Spencer.

He was due to go on a date with her on June 21, but she cancelled to go out with another man.

Chloe, 27, was found hanged the following morning and it was believed she had sent a text message to Adam, 29, just two hours before her body was discovered at a property in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Six days later Adam, who was employed as a warehouse worker, ventured onto railway tracks near his home in Wigan and stepped into the path of a locomotive, an inquest has heard.

Police believe he tried to jump out of the way at the last minute but was struck by the train and died from multiple injuries.

Details of the double tragedy in June this year emerged at Bolton Coroner’s Court where separate inquests into the couple’s deaths were held on the same day.

Adam (pictured above) had struggled with Chloe's death and had wanted to carry the coffin at her funeral

Adam (pictured above) had struggled with Chloe's death and had wanted to carry the coffin at her funeral

Adam (pictured above) had struggled with Chloe’s death and had wanted to carry the coffin at her funeral 

The pair had first started dating in July 2018 but their 11 month relationship was said to have had its ‘ups and downs’ and on the day before her death mother of one Chloe, a mental health nursing assistant had arranged to go out with a friend David McCormick.

Adam’s mother Ann Lloyd told the hearing: ‘Adam and Chloe were due to go on a date on June 21 but she cancelled that night. The following day Adam unexpectedly received a call from a friend saying she had taken her own life and as consequence of this, Adam was heartbroken.’

She said her son had struggled over that period and had attended a mental health assessment on June 27 where he was asked if he wanted to harm or kill himself.

‘He said no, and said if he would, he would wait until after the funeral.

Chloe had struggled with her mental health in the past and her mother said she didn't think this particular incident was a clear indication for a Chloe to end her own life

Chloe had struggled with her mental health in the past and her mother said she didn't think this particular incident was a clear indication for a Chloe to end her own life

Chloe (pictured above) had been fighting for custody of her child at the time of her death

Chloe (pictured above) had been fighting for custody of her child at the time of her death

Chloe (left and right) had struggled with her mental health in the past and her mother said she didn’t think this particular incident was a clear indication for a Chloe to end her own life

‘He had planned on carrying his partner’s coffin and there was some belief he was going to have a follow up the next day from the mental health team. Later that day he went out to his cousin’s house for a BBQ and he seemed quiet but OK. After a while he was talking of going to see a friend and he went to see him and had a couple of drinks with him at the local pub.’

After the BBQ he is returned home and his mother said they were laughing and joking together. He then went out again and Mrs Lloyd’s niece informed her that Adam had appeared upset.

‘His family all continued to search for him. When we were unable to locate him we reported him missing.

‘We found out the next day that sadly he was deceased.’

Adam had dismissed suicidal thoughts and his mother said his mental health had shifted significantly because of Chloe's death (the couple are pictured together above)

Adam had dismissed suicidal thoughts and his mother said his mental health had shifted significantly because of Chloe's death (the couple are pictured together above)

Adam had dismissed suicidal thoughts and his mother said his mental health had shifted significantly because of Chloe’s death (the couple are pictured together above)

Mrs Lloyd added: ‘In the week leading up to his death he was heartbroken following his partner’s death. There was some mention previously about that if he threw himself off his father’s balcony then it would be quick. But he had plans for the future, he had recently been offered a new job and he planned to meet up with some friends the next day.’

She said he wanted to see if he would be able to carry Chloe’s coffin and dismissed suicidal thoughts telling his mother he ‘had to get through the funeral first’. Mrs Lloyd said she believed she had time ‘to get him through the grief’.

‘His mental health deteriorated significantly because of his partner’s death. On 27 June he was finding out if he could carry the coffin. His girlfriend’s mum was saying he couldn’t but her sister was trying to change her mum’s mind.

‘It was playing on his mind a lot and he never found out that day and there were some texts on his phone asking about it. The last minute I saw him he have me a cuddle and said he loved me, then left and his phone was on charge. He was an absolutely wonderful son.’

Chloe’s mother Deborah Spencer, also from Wigan said her daughter had suffered with mental health problems since she fell victim to a sexual assault several years previously. She had also been fighting for custody of her child.

Mrs Spencer said: ‘On June 21 she had her first date with David. She was meant to come back to mine to sleep but instead she collected her keys and returned to her home.

‘I last spoke to her at 3am on 22 June 2019. She phoned me but she didn’t seem anxious or depressed during the call. We discussed some building work that needed to be done and we made arrangements to see each other later that day.’

The coroner said Adam had been 'devastated' by Chloe's death and had struggled to come to terms with it (they are pictured together above)

The coroner said Adam had been 'devastated' by Chloe's death and had struggled to come to terms with it (they are pictured together above)

The coroner said Adam had been ‘devastated’ by Chloe’s death and had struggled to come to terms with it (they are pictured together above)

Mrs Spencer said she had been aware that Chloe had taken tablets in the past but that she felt it was a cry for help.

‘I do not believe this particular incident was a clear indication for a Chloe to end her own life.

Chloe (pictured above) was described as a 'beautiful person'

Chloe (pictured above) was described as a 'beautiful person'

Chloe (pictured above) was described as a ‘beautiful person’ 

‘I would describe Chloe as a beautiful person, a wonderful daughter and sister, but most of all she adored her daughter in the short years she has given some wonderful memories. We are all deeply distressed by her death.’

Speaking at Bolton Coroner’s Court Mr McCormick said he had a date with Chloe on the last day of her life and picked her up between 5.30pm and 6pm.

‘We had a couple of drinks at the pub and then went to a bar at about 8.30pm and then went back to Chloe’s house.

‘We just drank and had a laugh and we joked. I went to sleep at about 11.30pm as I was training for a charity fight the next day. I woke up at about 5am to go to the toilet and I found her hanging from the stairs.’

Mr McCormick said it had been ‘such a short window’, but said that Chloe had seemed in a ‘good mood’.

‘She had spoke about her mental health issues but she said she was taking medication and she seemed fine – there’s no way in the world I thought she would do it.’

Tests showed Chloe had 176 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of a blood. The alcohol limit in blood for driving is 80mg. There were also traces of cocaine in her system.

Det Insp Phillip Housley of Greater Manchester Police said it was unusual for someone to meet up with a first date and for one of the parties to be found deceased in the morning.

‘We looked at Chloe’s phone records and phone text messages and there was a message sent to someone called Adam at 3.03am but there is no suggestion that was responded to. There was no evidence to suggest foul play.’

Adam was found dead next to tracks near Wigan North Western railway station on June 28. It emerged he had been due to meet mental health experts after he was referred to them by his counsellor but he was never seen due to staff shortages.

Det Ch Insp Lee Owen of British Transport Police said: ‘Adam was said to be deeply upset because of the death of his girlfriend and indicated he wanted to harm himself to his mum. He was upset and commented he wouldn’t be able to carry her coffin and commented that he wanted to be with her.

‘There is no indication of third party involvement or suspicious circumstances. We believe he made the decision to enter the track by himself. No note was found. With my person opinion, looking at the way he was struck by the train, I believe it was his intention to jump out of the way at the last minute.’

Recording a narrative conclusion on Chloe’s death and a suicide verdict on Adam, Coroner Rachel Syed said: ‘Adam had an on-off relationship Chloe and was due to go out for a meal with her, but they didn’t end up going and very sadly the next day Adam was informed his partner had ended her own life.

‘Quite understandably Adam was devastated by this news and struggled to come to terms with her death. I was told he accessed the counselling service and an assessment took place on 27 June 2019, and during this he disclosed to his counsellor he had suicidal thoughts.

‘Sadly he died on the railway line having struggled to cope with the unexpected death of his partner.’

She added: ‘At no point did Chloe disclose to her family, GP or mental health services that she intended to take her own life. ‘There is no evidence she was researching how to take her own life and this came as a great shock to her family’.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article then you can call the Samaritans on 116 123, alternatively you can visit the website at by clicking here.      

 

 

 

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