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Graduate died in train leap after taking MDMA

Sister tells inquest her ‘multi-talented’ brother, who was about to start new job, felt ‘inadequate’

17 March, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Malvyn Fairclough ‘maybe felt it difficult waiting to get where he wanted to be’

A “MULTI-TALENTED” science graduate who was weeks away from starting a new job threw himself in front of a Tube train after taking the drug MDMA, an inquest has heard.

Malvyn Fairclough, 23, was a bright student who had completed a masters degree with distinction in drug discovery and pharmaceutical management at University College London last year.

An inquest into his death on Tuesday heard he was due to take the Eurostar to Brussels, where his parents live, on November 8 of last year. But he died hours earlier when he jumped in front of a Victoria line train at Finsbury Park station. He had been due to start a new job in January.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard how his death came as a great shock to his family. Asked by assistant coroner Sarah Bourke how Malvyn had been coping with life, his older sister Cathy said:

“He wanted to do research and was designing a software program. His [younger] sister is an artist – she does animation – and he was going to write music for her. He was a multi-talented person.”

However, when she met Malvyn in late October for her birthday, her brother told her he felt “inadequate”, she told the inquest.

“He used to be happy but in the end… he said he worked quite hard for his degree and maybe he was expecting everything, the next stage [of his life] to come, and maybe he felt it was difficult waiting to get where he wanted to be,” she said.

He had not appeared depressed, she said, but “a bit down”, adding: “He was happy to be selected [for his new job] but at the same time we had a conversation and he said he felt inadequate.” She had considered suggesting he speak to a counsellor.

Malvyn had been staying with his cousin in Finsbury Park when he died. After his death a “disturbing note” was found in his room, the court heard.

Cathy said: “My mum told me Malvyn used to write notes to himself as therapy, to help himself. I found a few notes when I went to his house. [But] this one, I couldn’t recognise it was him. It was just the way it was written, it was very erratic.”

Asked about the contents, she added: “He was fed up about something. There was something that didn’t make him happy. It just said he had been talking to his imaginary friend and told him he had f****d up. It was just five lines.”

The note did not express any suicidal intent, she added.

A post-mortem examination found that Malvyn had “slightly over the concentration of recreational use” of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, in his blood. The drug can cause feelings of euphoria but also severe low mood in the stages of withdrawal.

His parents told the Tribune in November: “He was a blessing in our lives.”

Ms Bourke recorded an open conclusion. She said she could not be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Malvyn had intended to take his own life.

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