Train death cricketer Tom Maynard was high on drugs
- 26 February 2013
- From the section London
The death of a cricketer who was struck by a Tube train while drunk and high on drugs was accidental, a jury has decided.
Cricketer Tom Maynard fled from his car after being stopped by police near Wimbledon Park station shortly after 05:00 BST on 18 June, an inquest heard.
The Cardiff-born batsman landed on a live track as he tried to get away.
The 23-year-old Surrey player died from multiple injuries, Westminster Coroners' Court was told.
A post-mortem examination showed he was nearly four times the legal alcohol limit to drive and had also taken cocaine and ecstasy in the form of MDMA after a night out with his two flatmates in Wandsworth, south London.
Tests on hair samples indicated Mr Maynard, who had previously played for Glamorgan and was tipped as a future England international, may have been a regular drug user up to three-and-a-half months before his death, the court heard.
Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Poole told the inquest jury Mr Maynard suffered burns to his feet, ankles and shin which were consistent with injuries suffered by skin touching live railway tracks.
It was not possible to say, however, whether electrocution or the impact with the train caused Mr Maynard's death, he said.
Post-mortem tests indicated high levels of alcohol in his urine, as well as the presence of MDMA and cocaine, the inquest heard.
In a statement, Dr Rosa Cordero said analysis showed the levels of MDMA and cocaine in his system matched some daily users of the drug.
England fast bowler Jade Dernbach and former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, who were with Mr Maynard on the evening before his death, said they were unaware he had taken drugs.
The three players had been drinking heavily on 17 June after losing a Twenty20 cricket match.
They went to the Ship Inn pub in Wandsworth before continuing to drink at the home Mr Maynard shared with Mr Hamilton-Brown.
They then went to Aura nightclub before leaving with three sisters they had met and returning home.
One of the women, Georgina Williams, said she saw Mr Maynard leave his property at about 03:15.
Mr Maynard's girlfriend, Carly Baker, told the court he had called her at about 03:30.
"He sounded very down and depressed on the phone," she said.
"For me to say: 'What's wrong' is quite unusual. It was like he needed me. He said 'You're the only thing that makes me happy', and he said it three times."
Miss Baker said in a statement: "I tried to persuade him not to come because I was so worried that he was getting into his car after drinking."
She continued to speak to her boyfriend on the telephone while he was driving until he no longer answered his phone.
PC David Wishart told the inquest that he and his colleague PC Tahla Wallond were travelling in an unmarked police car when they spotted Mr Maynard's black Mercedes driving erratically.
After following the car, it came to a stop and performed a U-turn to face the officers, he said, adding that he got out of his car and ordered Mr Maynard to wait but he ran off and managed to flee the officers.
In a statement, tube driver Martin Hopping said he believed he was approaching "bags of white ballast" before realising a body was lying on the tracks.
He applied the brakes and sounded the the train's horn but struck the body at about 05:00.
The inquest heard Mr Maynard had been disciplined by Surrey County Cricket Club after an incident in Brighton a week before his death, where he had been run over and injured himself after drinking alcohol.
The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Mr Maynard's death.
It said pursuing officers lost sight of him after he made off on foot and had no further contact with him.
About 50 minutes passed between the start of the police chase and Mr Maynard being hit by the train.
Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox called his death "absolutely tragic" and called for analysis of hair samples to be considered for future drugs testing by cricket clubs.
England and Wales Cricket Board said it had recently agreed to develop an out-of-competition programme to encompass recreational drugs.
Mr Maynard, the son of former England and Glamorgan batsman Matthew Maynard, earned himself a place on the England Lions tour to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the start of last year.
His family issued a statement on Tuesday, through the Professional Cricketers' Association, which read: "The results of the inquest do not define our son.
"The fact that so very many people thought the world of him is what defines him as a person.
"The only people who would judge Tom on the findings of the inquest are people who didn't know him. He made choices that night that tragically cost him his life but his devastated family and friends will love and miss him unconditionally always."