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Moment policeman stepped in front of train near Moreton
1:20pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
THE moment when a suspended police chief stepped in front of a 60mph passenger train on the Cotswold Line has been described to a coroner.
Deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley heard that Gordon Fraser, 49-year-old assistant chief constable of Leicestershire Police, walked onto the line and then turned his back to the train before it hit him on Friday. Mr Fraser and his wife Teresa, a serving officer with West Midlands police, had been due to face St Alban’s Magistrates Court on Monday on a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over a speeding offence.
He was also suspended from duty over allegations of fraud and misconduct involving an overseas property business.
After hearing the circumstances of Mr Fraser’s death, the deputy coroner said: “There was a gentleman here under severe pressure.”
Det Insp Paul Langley, of British Transport Police, who gave evidence at the inquest opening in Gloucester, replied: “Correct.”
Coroner’s officer Terry Onions told the inquest: “At 1.25pm on Friday, British Transport Police reported the death of a man at Aston Magna railway crossing near Moreton. “At about 12.17pm the Paddington to Hereford train was doing 55-60mph when it reached this location. A male was seen to walk from bushes on the left-hand side and step onto the railway track. As the train approached the person turned his back and he was struck.”
It is alleged Mrs Fraser, who has been suspended from her force pending the outcome of the investigation, accepted responsibility for a speeding offence committed by her husband in Strathclyde last September.
Friday’s incident caused major disruption on the line with 80 passengers left stranded on a stationary train for more than two-and-a-half hours. The deputy coroner formally opened and adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.