Cricketer hit by train had taken drink and drugs

A PROMISING county cricketer who had been tipped for an England career had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs when he 
was struck by a train as he fled police.

An inquest on 23-year-old Tom Maynard heard he was found dead near Wimbledon Park station on the London Underground District line shortly after 5am on Monday, June 18 last year.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

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The Surrey batsman, who was widely tipped as a future England international, suffered multiple injuries from the impact of the train and from touching a live electric rail, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard.

He had fled from his black Mercedes after being stopped by police who had spotted him driving erratically less than an hour before his death.

England fast bowler Jade Dernbach and former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, among the last people to see Maynard alive, gave evidence at the hearing.

Both players told the court they were unaware Maynard had 
ever taken drugs, which would result in a two-year ban from the sport.

Asked by coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox whether he knew Maynard used cocaine on an almost daily basis, Dernbach replied: “I was unaware of that.”

The three players had been drinking heavily on June 17 after losing a Twenty20 match.

Maynard’s girlfriend Carly Baker told the court Maynard had called her at about 3.30am on June 18 after he had been out drinking with friends.

Miss Baker said she urged Maynard not to drive to her home as she suspected he had been drinking.

In a statement, she added: “I tried to persuade him not to come because I was so worried that he was getting into his car after drinking.”

Pc David Wishart told the inquest that he and his colleague Pc Tahla Wallond were travelling in an unmarked police car when they spotted Maynard’s vehicle. After following him, the car came to a stop and performed a U-turn to face the officers.

Pc Wishart got out of his car and ordered Maynard to wait, but he ran off, the inquest heard.

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 train’s horn but struck the body at about 5am.

A post-mortem examination showed Maynard was nearly four times the legal limit to drive and had also taken cocaine and ecstasy in the form of MDMA.

Tests on hair samples indicted Maynard may have been a daily user of drugs in the three-and-half months before his death, the inquest heard.

Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Poole told the inquest jury that Maynard suffered burns to his feet, ankles and shin which were consistent with injuries suffered by skin touching live railway tracks.

Cause of death was given as multiple injuries.

Post-mortem tests indicted high levels of alcohol in Maynard’s urine, as well as the presence of MDMA, cocaine and the compound cocaethylene.

Maynard, who came through the ranks at Glamorgan, earned himself a place on the England Lions tour to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the start of last year.

The Cardiff-born cricketer was the son of former England and Glamorgan batsman Matthew.

In a statement issued through the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Maynard’s family said his death had left “a huge hole” in their lives.

They added: “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.”