Peacehaven dad dies after being hit by train at level crossing

Eastbourne Town Hall
Eastbourne Town Hall

A 24-year-old Peacehaven father who struggled with debt problems sadly died after being hit by a train.

Matthew Golbey, who lived with his family in Hoddern Avenue, was struck at the crossing in Ripe on September 22.

An inquest today (Thursday) heard Mr Golbey, who left behind a two-year-old son, had been struggling with debt and had gambled in the past.

A statement from his mother Louise Virgo said, “He was very work-oriented. He had a girlfriend who he was very happy with.

“I was aware he had debt and recently took out loans. He used to gamble, sometimes at Casinos, sometimes online.

“He was talking to me about his girlfriend moving in with us. They were hoping to buy a place together.”

But she said when he was hesitant about getting a deposit together alarm bells started ringing about his situation.

The day before Mr Golbey died his mother said she ‘knew something was wrong’. Early the next morning she received text and Whatsapp messages from him which coroner Alan Craze said could only be read as an indication of taking his own life.

The inquest at Eastbourne town hall also heard a statement from the train driver, Jeffery Godden.

He had been driving the 5.29 Eastbourne to Brighton service and was on his way to Brighton, travelling at around 80mph, when he saw something.

Mr Godden said, “I saw a man move left to right out of the crossing then stop directly in front of my train. This happened in a couple of seconds. I knew the man would not survive. I stopped the train and called police.

“I have no doubt in my mind the man wore jeans and a dark top and did everything to place himself in front of the train with the intention of being hit.”

Present at the inquest, Mrs Virgo asked investigator Timothy Ramskill if there should be CCTV at the crossing. She said if officers saw a car just parked suspiciously they could perhaps have done something about it.

But Mr Ramskill said it would be Network Rail which would have to make that call.

Speaking to the family, coroner Craze said, “There isn’t scope for any doubt whatsoever. The conclusion is that very sadly Matthew took his own life.

“We then turn to those who are left behind. Having done this job for a very long time, I know the devastating nature of something like this for the people close to him.

“I can’t change history, but I would like to end by expressing my condolences to you all.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.