You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

BBC boss 'threw herself under train after claiming Star Wars knights were telling her she was Jedi mindf***ed'

Mirror logo Mirror 17/12/2016

Anne Barnsdale © Mirror Anne Barnsdale A BBC boss claimed Star Wars movie characters were contacting her in the lead up to her throwing herself in front of a train on Halloween, an inquest has heard.

Anne Barnsdale said that knights from the blockbuster movies were speaking to her and that she was being "mindf*****" by the Jedi.

The BBC World Service manager, 39, had recently returned to work after having a baby daughter.

But the inquest ruled that she was not suffering from "baby blues" when she committed suicide.

"Anne described her feelings of being sleepy and of being Jedi mind-f*****," her husband Jonathan Clark told the inquest.

"None of these signs was picked up by the GPs."

Dr Steve Simons, Mrs Barnsdale's doctor, saw her days before her death and wrote in his statement to the inquest that, despite her feelings of mental instability, she was not delusional.

"She described to me having weird thoughts, for example communicating with the Jedi," he said.

"We talked about this and she recognised herself that this was fiction and she was not delusional or psychotic at the time."

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty Although the rapid deterioration in her mental wellbeing coincided with the early months of her baby daughter, who was born in July 2014, Dr Simons concluded she was not suffering from the baby blues.

"I prescribed her some sleeping pills and attributed her stress to her busy job at the BBC," he added.

"I did not diagnose her with post-natal depression."

The inquest heard how the married couple had shared a "lazy morning" together on the day of her death - October 31.

They had been for a walk and a coffee but Mrs Barnsdale, who had only returned to the BBC from maternity two months before, left the home while her husband was seeing to their daughter upstairs.

She was seen running in front of a train heading to Portsmouth from London Waterloo at about 4.30pm, just outside Goldalming, Surrey.

Train driver Trevor Mailey wrote in a statement, which was read out at the inquest: "We were travelling between 40mph and 50mph when I saw a figure wearing purple clothing crouched down by the left of the tracks.

"I blew the train's horn but she did not react to this so I slammed on the emergency brakes but we struck her.

Assistant driver Lea Ware added in his statement: "In my opinion she dived out towards us."

Computer programmer husband Mr Clark and Mrs Barnsdale's sister, Michelle Barnsdale-Ward, claimed that the doctors who saw her in the week leading up to her death should have done more to save her.

"We believe that the system failed her as she made three cries for help over her last five days," he told the inquest in Woking, Surrey.

"I will have to live with the fact that I could have done more to save her from killing herself and the doctors will have to live with that on their conscience as well.

"A baby girl has to go without a mother due to a lack of care it now seems."

However assistant Surrey coroner Anna Loxton insisted that no-one else was to blame for her death, the cause of which was ruled by pathologist Dr Ben Haagsma as multiple injuries having been struck by a train.

"I can only look from my role at what systems were there and I am satisfied people acted appropriately within those systems," she said.

Mrs Barnsdale, who did not take her husband's surname when they married in 2009, had taken both ecstasy and cocaine in the past and had another appointment booked with her GP on Monday November 2.

She was first diagnosed with mental health problems in August 2008 when was rushed to hospital having slashed her wrists with a knife and Miss Loxton recorded her death as suicide.

"In this case I must consider suicide given the circumstances," she said.

"I am mindful of the evidence before me particularly of the CCTV footage footage from the train and of the drivers' witness accounts.

"Mrs Barnsdale was seen heading into the path of the train and it should be noted that the area where she was seen was not easily accessible from the road.

"It's seems very unlikely that Mrs Barnsdale could have wandered on to the tracks unintentionally or that she was trying to cross them at that point.

"It's tragic that despite seeking help and having further appointments booked that Mrs Barnsdale felt she had no option than to end her life on that day."

Mrs Barnsdale, of Goldalming, Surrey, was killed on railway lines adjacent to the A3100 Portsmouth Road, Goldalming, at about 4.30pm on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

If you need to speak to someone Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon