‘Her Underlying Black Monster, As She Called It, Won In The End’
The family of Kay Miller yesterday witnessed her “haunting” final moment as she calmly stood in front of an oncoming train. The 14-year-old walked on to the tracks and killed herself after telling her family she was being bullied at school. She had also made a separate accusation of rape and battled with anorexia.
A black-and-white still photograph, taken from a CCTV camera recently fitted to the front of the train, captured the moment just before the train ran Kay over. Coroner Mary Hassell apologised to Kay’s family for showing it in court yesterday but said it was of “great probative value” to the jury.
Detective Sergeant David Goddard of the British Transport Police, who conducted an investigation into the death, said the full footage was “haunting”. “You see Kay emerge from the bushes to the left of the train,” said DS Goddard. “She appears to walk quite calmly into the area between the two running lines.
“She stands in what can only be described as a haunting manner with her arms by her side and the train runs over her. “The train collides with her and carries on for some distance. You can actually see the train rocking as the emergency brakes are applied.”
Train driver Paul Spencer said he only spotted Kay around 20 yards before impact as she was crouching behind some undergrowth. “I put the brakes on immediately and I blasted the horn hoping she would react but she just stood there with her arms by her side,” said Mr Spencer.
Kay was killed instantly when a train travelling between Heath High Level station and Llanishen station in Cardiff hit her at around 40mph on August 27 last year.
Cardiff Coroner’s Court heard Kay had been plagued with a borderline personality disorder for six years before her death and had made numerous attempts to commit suicide. She also suffered from anorexia and a month before her death had made a complaint about being raped.
“It is unfortunate for a vulnerable person like Kay there will be some perpetrators of really heinous traumatic events that I believe resulted in her death,” said her consultant psychiatrist Dr Ahmed Darwish.
Janet Rees, a social worker at Cardiff Council, said Kay was referred to them in 2001 because of her mental health problems. Ms Rees said of the rape allegation, “It was a very traumatic process. Perhaps that is something that tipped the balance.”
Susan Miller, Kay’s mother, said South Wales Police also investigated an allegation that her daughter had been sexually assaulted at a leisure centre in January 2005. Mrs Miller said when the investigation was dropped before it came to court, Kay’s behaviour changed and she became worse.
“Unfortunately, her underlying ‘black monster’ as she called it, won in the end but there were many times we saved her,” said Mrs Miller. Fighting back tears, she added, “Kay was just a lovely girl. She had problems from an early age but she loved life, she loved drama, she loved first aid, she loved helping people and she was a caring, kind girl.
“The trouble was that she had problems and there were two sides to Kay. There was Kay the normal teenager; going out and shopping and friends with everybody. Then there was the Kay that not many people saw but she hated herself, thought everybody hated her and she wanted to die. When she was down, she was down and it was very hard to bring her out of that mood.”
Her death happened after an altercation between members of her family and Llanishen High School classmate Scott Walker over alleged bullying. Her stepfather Tim Hillard and her brother Geraint, a Welsh Guardsman, confronted her classmate, the inquest heard. An altercation ensued in the street and the police were called.
Mr Hillard, who was put in a police car with his son, told Kay and her 10-year-old sister Chloe to go home to their mother. In an interview with the BTP, Chloe said it was as they were walking home that Kay ran off.
A post-mortem conducted by Dr Richard Jones at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff revealed Kay died from blunt force trauma to the head and chest.
Mr Hillard said, “There was a black monster inside her. But she was a good kid. She loved cuddles with her mum. She loved to go shopping and she loved to talk about her problems, to explain to people her mental health issues.”
The inquest, due to last three days, continues.