A SPIRITUAL healer struck by a 60mph train near Keighley had threatened before to take his own life on the tracks, an inquest heard.

Father-of-two Clive Ferguson, who lived at Green Head Lane, Utley, died on the Leeds to Skipton line just after Gotts Crossing shortly before 8pm on September 11 last year.

Mr Ferguson had been struggling with health problems, depression and previous suicidal thoughts and had been worried about being sent to jail over financial difficulties.

A few days before his death, he had been declared bankrupt which appeared to bring him great relief, improving his dark moods and giving family and those supporting him from mental health services no cause for concern, yesterday's inquest heard.

Despite the train's horn being blasted Mr Ferguson, who was stood with his back to the train, turned to face it seconds before the terrible impact, the hearing was told.

David Fletcher, who was supervising trainee driver Gareth Braggan that night, said the 48-year-old would have had four to five seconds to get off the tracks but did not move.

Alison Booth told coroner Martin Fleming how she and Mr Ferguson, her partner of more than 30 years, had a bit of a tiff earlier that night on the way home from the local pub and when she had gone upstairs to get ready for bed, she heard the door slam, looked out of the window and saw him striding off.

Worried for his safety, Ms Booth and their younger son went to search places he had been before including a nearby cemetery and ended up at the railway tracks.

She climbed over a low fence onto the tracks to keep looking for him when she found his jacket, then his jeans before going back to her car to get help and the police arrived.

The inquest heard how Mr Ferguson had been risk assessed, monitored and supported by Bradford District Care Trust mental health services, but there had been no "red flags" in the days before his death indicating he was intending to harm himself.

Ms Booth told the coroner she had been "completely happy" with mental health services and she believed her partner's mood had picked up since the bankruptcy hearing because he was so relieved it was over.

Social worker Lindsey Whitehead said on previous visits Mr Ferguson had a knife with him, telling her it was to protect himself from bailiffs or anyone coming to the house. But she said it was "more of a symbolic thing" for his reassurance than a threat. However, after the bankruptcy and on her last visit to him just the day before his death, he told her his dark thoughts had completely gone.

Recording a narrative verdict that Mr Ferguson had taken his own life while suffering from extreme depression and anxiety, Mr Fleming said: "The great tragedy here, and the matter that must distress his family and social workers, is there were no red flags for them to pick up on. There was nothing to suggest he was harbouring any intentions to harm himself."