Mother and daughter were on railway station platform for an hour before they died

Daily Mail Online 2 months ago

A young mother was suffering from a 'psychotic crisis' when she and her three-year-old daughter were killed by a train, a coroner heard today. 

Leighane Redmond, 27, and her three-year-old daughter Melsadie Parris died when they were hit by an express train at Taplow Station in Buckinghamshire in February. 

The pair had been at the station for more than an hour prior to the tragedy, which was treated as a murder/suicide by British Transport Police detectives. 

Lawyers today told a pre-inquest review that Ms Redmond and Melsadie were let down by the State, and said authorities 'breached their human rights' in failing to properly treat Ms Redmond's psychosis.    

Leighane Redmond, 27, and her three-year-old daughter Melsadie Parris died when they were hit by a train
Leighane Redmond, 27, and her three-year-old daughter Melsadie Parris died when they were hit by a train

Coroner Crispin Butler made a preliminary decision that there was an arguable breach under article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which would mean their family could claim publicly-funded legal representation.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC represented Leighane's mother Yvette Redmond, who was present at the hearing. 

She said Ms Redmond, who lived near the station, had been going through a 'psychotic crisis' or 'acute psychosis' on December 24 last year, putting her at a higher than average risk of self-harm or suicide.

She said: 'This was a very vulnerable woman with mental health issues, with multiple red flags in terms of psychosis with multiple agencies, who was not picked up sooner.

'A particular concern of my clients is in relation to how long they were at the train station prior to the incident and whether there was active monitoring of the CCTV. 

'Dealing with the length of time they were there, in circumstances where activity such as someone remaining in place for an hour on a platform and not boarding a train, what should be done? 

'On the material seen so far, it is plainly arguable that she was in fact suffering psychosis or a psychotic episode from at least December.' 

She added Melsadie's father Leroy Parris should have the option for public funding for legal representation during the full inquest. 

The tragedy was treated as a murder/suicide and Ms Redmod had been suffering a 'psychotic crisis' at the time
The tragedy was treated as a murder/suicide and Ms Redmod had been suffering a 'psychotic crisis' at the time 

Ms Gallgher also said the Redmond family wished to provide 'pen portraits' of Melsadie and her mother before the full inquest - a practice which generally takes place at major inquiries such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the Hillsborough disaster and the London 7/7 bombings.

Pen portraits are contributions from families and friends, which are said to 'bring their voices into the inquiry.'  

Ms Gallgher added: 'This is an incredibly tragic and difficult situation in which two lives have been cut short and we should commence the inquest in a recollection of these two individuals as people and their lives and the promise that has been cut short.'

Leroy Parris and his family are raising money in Melsadie's memory to donate to Great Ormond Street Hospital on the crowdfunding website JustGiving.

The pair had been at Taplow Station in Buckinghamshire for more than an hour prior to their deaths
The pair had been at Taplow Station in Buckinghamshire for more than an hour prior to their deaths 

Mr Parris said in a tribute online: 'My beautiful three-year-old daughter Melsadie Adella-Rae Parris was cruelly taken away from me and my family with no warning, no reason or no explanation.

'No words can describe the feeling of excruciating pain a parent has to endure when coming to terms with losing their child and then having to find the strength to plan their funeral to say goodbye in the weeks to follow is truly heartbreaking.

'Melsadie was a very happy, clever and loving child who had such a bright future ahead of her. She loved to learn how to do new things whether it was a fun activity or an educational task.

'As heartbreaking as this is I am so proud that in such a short period of time my little girl had managed to touch so many people's lives, which made her such a special child. We will all miss her terribly.'

The full inquest will take place at a later date.  


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