Tragic Wigan couple died within days of each other

A grieving boyfriend killed himself under the wheels of a train after he was left “heartbroken” by the death of his girlfriend.

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 12:43 pm
Adam Howarth

Warehouse worker Adam Howarth, 29, had been due to go on a date with 27-year old Chloe Spencer but she cancelled to go out with another man.

She was found hanged at her home the following morning and it is believed she sent a 3am text to Adam just two hours before her body was discovered.

Just six days later Adam ventured onto railway tracks near his home in Wigan, and stepped into the path of a locomotive.

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Chloe Spencer

Police believe he tried to jump out of the way at the last minute but was struck by the train and died from multiple injuries.

Details of the double tragedy in June this year emerged at Bolton coroner’s court where separate inquests into the couple’s deaths were held on the same day.

The pair had begun dating in July 2018 but their 11 month relationship was said to have had its "ups and downs’’ and on the day before her death mother of one Chloe, a mental health nursing assistant had arranged to go out with a friend David McCormick.

Adam’s mother Ann Lloyd told the hearing: “Adam and Chloe were due to go on a date on June 21 but she cancelled that night. The following day Adam unexpectedly received a call from a friend saying she had taken her own life and as consequence of this, Adam was heartbroken.

"Essentially he struggled over that period and he attended a mental health assessment on June 27.

“During that assessment he was asked if he wanted to harm or kill himself and he said no, and said if he would, he would wait until after the funeral.

"He had planned on carrying his partner’s coffin and there was some belief he was going to have a follow up the next day from the mental health team. Later that day he went out to his cousins house for a BBQ and he seemed quiet but OK. After a while he was talking of going to see a friend and he went to see him and had a couple of drinks with him.

"He returned home and we were having a bit of a laugh but then he went out again and I was told by my niece that she saw him and he appeared upset. His family all continued to search for him. When we were unable to locate him we reported him missing.

"We found out the next day that sadly he was deceased.’’

Mrs Lloyd added: "In the week leading up to his death he was heartbroken following his partner’s death. There was some mention previously about that if he threw himself off his father’s balcony then it would be quick.

“But he had plans for the future, he had recently been offered a new job and he planned to meet up with some friends the next day.

"He had wanted to see if he could carry his partner’s coffin. When he was asked if he had any suicidal thoughts he kept saying he had to get through the funeral first.

“I was just thinking I’ve got time to get him out of this and get him through the grief.

"His mental health deteriorated significantly because of his partner’s death. On 27 June he was finding out if he could carry the coffin.

“His girlfriend’s mum was saying he couldn’t but her sister was trying to change her mum’s mind.

"The last minute I saw him he have me a cuddle and said he loved me, then left and his phone was on charge. He was an absolutely wonderful son.”

Adam was found dead next to tracks near Wigan North Western railway station on on June 28. It emerged he had been due to meet mental health experts after he was referred to them by his counsellor but he was never seen due to staff shortages.

Det Ch Insp Lee Owen of British Transport Police said: “Adam was said to be deeply upset because of the death of his girlfriend and indicated he wanted to harm himself to his mum.

Recording a narrative conclusion on Chloe’s death and a suicide verdict on Adam, Coroner Rachel Syed said: ‘’Adam had an on-off relationship Chloe and was due to go out for a meal with her, but they didn’t end up going and very sadly the next day Adam was informed his partner had ended her own life.

"Quite understandably Adam was devastated by this news and struggled to come to terms with her death. I was told he accessed the counselling service and an assessment took place on 27 June 2019, and during this he disclosed to his counsellor he had suicidal thoughts.

"Sadly he died on the railway line having struggled to cope with the unexpected death of his partner.’’