A STEROID-taking lad was killed by a train just a hours after dumping his girlfriend and telling his mum “I’m sorry”, an inquest heard.
Jacob Standbridge, 21, stepped in front of the high speed train at the Sandbach railway station in Cheshire last October.
The promising footballer – known as Jake – had split up with his girlfriend Ciera Barnes the night before after finding texts on her phone, but a coroner ruled it was not clear if he intended to take his own life.
Jake had intended to propose to his girlfriend during a trip to New York and they had bought a house together.
Their relationship hit the rocks after the sports teacher started taking steroid injections and then coming off them, an inquest heard.
Ciera told the hearing: “He took the steroids between July and the August but his reaction to situations or arguments that maybe weren’t a huge thing would be escalated – maybe in terms of it being blown out of proportion or overthinking of a scenario.
“Jacob told me he was going to withdraw and go to the doctors he told us all that he went to the doctors, it was only after his death that we found out he didn’t go.”
His mum Karen Standbridge told the Warrington hearing: “Some time in January 2016 Jacob met Ciera, although he had had lots of casual girlfriends she was his first love and became part of the family.
‘THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING’
“But it seemed to be in the last seven to eight weeks of his life that things with Ciera became rocky, and this coincided with the period he started to use steroid injections.
“There was an incident at the end of August when they were going on holiday, he found texts and at that stage they very nearly didn’t go on holiday but they worked through it with support from myself and his father Brian.
“Everything about Jacob appeared to be normal at that time but at 7pm on the evening of Friday 12th October we got a phone call saying he was coming home and it was over between him and Ciera. He said he had found more texts on her phone and he arrived at our house at 8pm.
“At about 5:30am on the Saturday morning I heard someone down stairs, and I saw Jacob was reversing off the drive in his car.
“We thought he was going to make things up with Ciera but at around 6:30am I received a text that said ‘I love you mum so much thank you for everything you have done for me, I’m so sorry’.
“I immediately felt something was wrong.”
At the time of his death he wasn’t in his right mind for whatever reason and I feel that he wanted to be out of pain in that moment – I firmly believe that.
Jake, from Sandbach, was a midfielder for the Stoke City Academy and other clubs.
After studying sports management he was offered a job providing sports training programs for local schools.
Jake died at scene after suffering multiple injuries from being hit by the high-speed train.
His mum added: “He told me on the Friday he had a meeting with Premier Sports who were offering a free franchise.
“He applied for the apprentice and made it through to the final selection. He did compare himself to how others were doing on social media and this was an added pressure but I feel at that what happened was totally out of character for Jacob.
“At the time of his death he wasn’t in his right mind for whatever reason and I feel that he wanted to be out of pain in that moment – I firmly believe that.
“When he left the house he was dressed in shorts and a hoodie and he hated the cold and I believe he was going back to Ciera to sort things out.”
Recording an open verdict assistant coroner Heath Westerman said: “The messages could indicate an intention to end his life but I cannot conclude that they do so to the required standard of probability. The messages could be interpreted as general messages as thank you for helping me.
MOST READ IN NEWS
“The messages didn’t indicate a conscious decision to end his own life or explicitly say that was his intention to do so.
“He was normally a resilient, strong lad who coped well with the blows of life. He had everything to live for, the love of his family and friends, a bright and successful future beckoned for him.
“There are strong reasons why I couldn’t find the necessary intentions to take his own life.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.