Man took his own life after fearing he was being chased by jihadists, inquest hears

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Emma Billingham

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Paranoid fears that he was being chased by jihadists led a man to take his own life by walking into a path of a train, an inquest has ruled.

Rolf Allen, 50, was killed in the early hours of Thursday, November 26, after he walked onto the railway tracks behind his home in St Chad's Road, Cox Green.

An inquest into Mr Allen’s death, held on Thursday, May 12, at Reading Town Hall, heard he had called the police twice earlier that night. He told officers he was being chased by jihadists; he later called to say he believed there was an intruder in the house he shared with his parents. 

In a report to the Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford, Mr Allen’s father Alfred said his son was a known cannabis user throughout his adult life and ‘using it may have taken its toll on him’. He believed his son took his own life.

The inquest heard that at 4.30am on the day of Mr Allen’s death, police were called to reports that a train had hit a person on the railway line in Cox Green.

It was found that Mr Allen had climbed out of the kitchen window and scrambled through the thick shrubbery at the end of his garden to get onto the railway line. 

The driver of the Great Western Railway train said he saw a man walking across the tracks, looking straight ahead, not at the train. He added he did not even have time to sound his horn.

Alfred Allen said his son had told him people were coming for him.

In his statement he added: “He was terrified to answer the door; he said people were waiting outside for him.”

On the night he died, Mr Allen told his father ‘I may as well top myself’, the inquest heard, but his father did not believe he was serious.

Mr Bedford concluded Mr Allen ‘took his own life while in a state of paranoia and fearing for his own life’.

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