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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Train tragedy widow tells of heartbreak at loss of caring husband

The widow of a baker killed after stepping in front of a train has paid tribute to her ‘caring, loving husband’.

Helen Mayall photo
Helen Fraser Mayall and Andy Mayall

Andy Mayall, 47, died “as a consequence of his own actions while suffering from extreme anxiety”, a coroner has ruled.

And, speaking about the tragedy for the first time, Helen Fraser Mayall revealed how she and their four-year-old son have struggled to come to terms with their loss, and how a community has rallied to support them.

Mrs Mayall, 50, of New Street, Cockermouth, recalled how police had been looking for her husband for almost 24 hours and were confident they would find him safe and well.

And then reports of a death at Penrith Station on March 27 came in.

She told the News & Star:“When Cumbria Police came to see me that morning, they were reluctant to give details at first as they wanted to protect me.

“People were already putting two-and-two together and speculating on social media that the incident at Penrith involved Andy.

“We had to wait more than an hour, possibly two, for the British Transport Police to confirm it was him – they’d found his debit card. I was in a state of disbelief. I couldn’t accept it. It was completely and utterly out of character for him to have done that.”

Instead, Mrs Mayall is focusing on remembering her husband as the man she loved.

“He was a loving, caring husband and father, brother and son,” she said. “Selfless, sensitive, patient and kind. Always honest and loyal to others, particularly if they had problems.

“He would always be there for them. He was never, ever judgemental.”

The loss of Mr Mayall is still very raw for his wife but she is, tentatively, beginning to look to the future.

“I’ve lost half of me and now I have to rebuild that half, knowing it cannot ever be the same,” she said. “But I have to and will do it.

“Caring for our four-year-old son, Shaun, is the most important thing now, and talking about his daddy’s life and how much he meant to him.”

Mrs Mayall has thanked her friends and family for their endless support – be it phone calls, messages or practical help.

She added: “People’s kindness has been overwhelming.

“The guys from the Cockermouth Men’s Shed came and fixed a shelf. They didn’t think it was much but it meant a huge amount to me.

“I knew Andy was well loved, but the tributes that others have paid him have been beautiful.”

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