A "music-loving" computer analyst died after being hit by a train, an inquest held in Oxford was told.

Stephen Richens, 48, of Kidlington, died at the Sandy Lane level crossing in Kidlington shortly after noon on Thursday, May 18. 

His death was recorded as a suicide by assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, Nicholas Graham, at Oxford Coroner's Court on Thursday morning. 

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The inquest was told that emergency services rushed to the scene but paramedics could only confirm that Mr Richens, of Hampden Road, had died at around 12.22pm.

A post-mortem examination later found the cause of death to be multiple severe injuries in keeping with an impact with a train.

The inquest heard a reading from a "very moving eulogy" for Mr Richens written by his work colleagues.

thisisoxfordshire: Oxford Coroner's Court Oxford Coroner's Court The eulogy described Mr Richens, known to friends and colleagues as Steve, as "an integral part of his work family."

It said: "Steve was kind, generous, thoughtful, diligent, and tenacious and will always be remembered.

"He had a great love of music and loved watching airplanes and water sports and, unusually, had a love of beavers.

"Steve touched the hearts of many people. He was always there to listen to people and offer kind words when it was needed and he never expected anything in return.

"He will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

The inquest was told the train that hit Mr Richens was travelling at around 85mph at the time. 

Summing up the evidence, Mr Graham said: "The driver immediately hit the emergency brake and continuously sounded the horn, unfortunately to no avail, and the man was struck.

"The driver managed to stop the train approximately 400 metres from the Sandy Lane crossing. He was obviously rather distressed and called the police."

thisisoxfordshire: The Sandy Lane rail crossing The Sandy Lane rail crossing

The coroner heard that another eyewitness, standing about 50 metres away by the canal side of the level crossing, saw Mr Richens wait for a train to approach.

Mr Graham told the court: "The witness said he saw a man standing on the 'safe side' of the level crossing. 

"He originally thought that the male wanted to take an action photograph of the train approaching."

Mr Graham added: "Stephen's body was identified by the British Transport Police using fingerprint comparison."

A death notice sent to the Oxford Mail said that Mr Richens "will be greatly missed by all his family and many friends". 

His funeral was scheduled to take place at North Oxfordshire Memorial Park in June.

The Samaritans are available 24-hours a day for support.

The freephone number is 116 123 and further support is available by visiting www.samaritans.org.