Accountant ‘suffered a seizure’ as he fell in front of Tube train and was killed, inquest hears

Epileptic accountant ‘suffered a seizure’ as he fell in front of Tube train and was killed, inquest hears

  • Robin Goldman, 52, was hit by an incoming southbound tube and instantly killed
  • He was caught on CCTV repeatedly raising his hands above his head 
  • A senior coroner said his gestures may have been a beginning of a seizure 
  • His family told St Pancras Coroner’s Court he had not intended to get off at Chalk Farm

An epileptic accountant could have suffered a seizure as he fell in front of a tube train and was killed instantly from a severe head injury, a coroners court heard.

Robin Goldman, 52, was caught on CCTV repeatedly raising his hands above his head at Chalk Farm tube station platform before falling backwards onto the tracks.

Senior coroner Mary Hassell said his gestures may have been a sign he was beginning to have a seizure, however she could not be certain.

She ruled his death was an accident caused by him stumbling and falling into the tracks at around 1.45pm on June 15 this year.

He was on his way from his work at chartered accountancy firm Grunberg & Co in Edgware for a diabetes check-up at Oakwood Medical Centre in Oakwood, near Cockfosters.

Robin Goldman, 52, was hit by an incoming southbound tube and instantly killed

Robin Goldman, 52, was hit by an incoming southbound tube and instantly killed

His family, who described him as a ‘gentle giant’ told St Pancras Coroner’s Court he had not intended to get off at Chalk Farm, and accidentally doing so would have been highly distressing for him.

Family members thought he had autism, though he was never diagnosed, and said he would have been stressed and disoriented by missing the stop and being in an unfamiliar place.

CCTV footage seen by the coroner, but not played in court on request of the family, showed the audit and accounts clerk appearing distressed wandering around the station platforms.

He then began raising his arms up and down in the air.

Witnesses to the accident had also remembered seeing Mr Goldman raise his arms up and down.

The accountant then neared the edge of the platform and fell into the tracks.

He was hit by an incoming southbound tube and instantly killed by a severe head injury.

Attending air ambulance crews said when they arrived his injuries were clearly un-survivable.

As a result, no medical treatment was provided at the scene.

The coroner could not say for certain that he had had a seizure but said he had unintentionally stumbled and fallen into the tracks.

Mr Goldman’s family broke down in tears of relief when they were told his death was an accident after initial discussions over him taking his own life.

The family of the 52-year-old emphasised he was the happiest they had ever seen him before the accident and they did not believe he would have killed himself.

The accountant neared the edge of the platform and fell into the tracks

The accountant neared the edge of the platform and fell into the tracks

His mother Michele Charkham-Gold said: ‘He was a lovely gentle giant, he really was a son to be proud of.

‘He had worked for Grunberg & Co for four years, they were wonderful employers.

‘There were no big life events at the time of his death and I last saw him three days before he died.

‘On the 15th June he had a half day off work to visit his GP to discuss his diabetes.

‘He was extremely anxious about being on time for the appointment and that could have brought on a seizure.

‘There was no reason for him to be suicidal.’

The Transport for London train operator Roger Ousby was driving the train at the time of the incident and described the two seconds he remembers of Mr Goldman falling in front of the train.

He said: ‘I was working on the Northern Line and I was at the end of my duty.

‘I can’t remember exactly. I saw a man in a white shirt going towards the edge of the platform facing the platform.

‘It was literally two seconds to see what was going on and I was at the platform when I saw him.

‘Just as I was coming towards him he fell head first in front of the train. At the same time he did that I heard a scream from the platform.

‘There was not time to stop and I immediately put on the brakes.

‘I could not tell if it was accidental or deliberate, I thought maybe he had fainted because he did not go feet first and it was a hot day.

‘It was as if he was diving into a swimming pool, that was all I saw. I was going 30 miles per hour and trains take quite a long while to stop.’

Commuter Angela MacFarlane described seeing Mr Goldman raising his arms on the platform.

She said: ‘I noticed there was a man looking to the tracks who was raising his arms as he was facing the track.

‘He had got to the edge of the platform with his back to the rails and he raised his arms as he had done before and fell into the rails.

‘No one was standing close enough to push him.’

Another bystander Yavonne Williams said the man looked scared as he fell, waving his arms.

The teacher for special educational needs children at Havistock School in Chalk Farm, said: ‘His back was to the tracks and his arms were waving as if he was scared.

‘My mind was thinking, what can anybody do? I lost it and I screamed. It seemed as if he wasn’t supposed to be falling. He seemed bewildered as he fell.’

His sister Emma Palmer also said Robin was very happy before he died, and added his family thought he could be autistic.

She said: ‘Robin felt awkward with people he didn’t know, he was very set in his ways.

We thought he was autistic but he was never diagnosed.

‘He loved his friends and spent lots of time in the pub but he never drank.

‘In my memory he was the happiest I had ever seen him.’

Giving her verdict Coroner Hassell described the CCTV footage of Robin and said he appeared very distressed and then stumbled onto the tracks.

She said: ‘there was a lot of toing and froing and I could see a person who felt anxious.

‘I saw the raising of the arms the witnesses described. But unlike the witnesses here I had the opportunity to see the footage multiple times.

‘What I saw seemed to me to be a stumble backwards. It did not seem to me to be intentional at all.

‘I have got no hesitation in saying this was an accident.

‘Robin Goldman stumbled and fell from the station at Chalk Farm.’

Goldman & Co described Robin as a very well-liked employee in a statement on their website.

It read: ‘On Wednesday 15th June, our dear colleague Robin Goldman, tragically passed away on his way home after leaving the office.

‘We are all shocked and devastated by this news.

‘Robin started his employment with us in July 2018 and immediately integrated himself into the team.

‘He was always willing to attempt something new and whilst some concepts were daunting to him, once he was shown what to do, he got on with it with no fuss.

‘He was a gentle giant and a good man.

‘Liked by all his colleagues, management and directors, Robin will be sorely missed.

‘We send his family and friends our sincerest condolences. May he rest in peace.’

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