A THREE-year-old girl miraculously survived when her father ran into the path of an express train while holding the youngster in his arms.
Scarlett Straw was found barely alive on the trackside at Adwick, Doncaster, after her father Richard, 28, tried to kill them both after discovering the girl’s mother was seeing another man.
An inquest heard that Mr Straw had told Scarlett to say “goodbye to mummy and tell her you love her” just hours before he took his own life.
Straw had scrawled abusive graffiti over the walls of his former family home, aimed at Scarlett’s mother, Samantha Roberts.
One chilling excerpt read “good bye Sammy, good bye mummy”.
A note found in Straw’s car, which was discovered parked near the railway line on the day he died, said Scarlett is “coming with me, far far away from you”.
Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard that Straw ran at the 70mph London Kings Cross to Leeds train “as if he was running from some starting blocks” and died from multiple injuries.
A driver discovered Scarlett near her father. Her cheekbone was fractured, one arm was broken and one leg was smashed by the blow, which also left her with a huge wound on the back of her head.
But Scarlett, now four, made a miraculous recovery following multiple operations and 45 days in hospital.
The court heard that Straw and his partner of five years had split up not long before the incident in July last year.
Miss Roberts described Straw as a loving father one day who could be “horrible and nasty” the next, and said their relationship properly broke down when they had a big argument following him losing money gambling.
She said they tried getting back together again but after “a couple of days he was back to his old self”. She added that Scarlett “didn’t deserve that”.
The court also heard that Miss Roberts had been seeing a friend of warehouse operator Straw since they split.
Miss Roberts told the court that she thought he found out “properly” about this on the day before he killed himself. He had followed her that Sunday and acted aggressively.
The following day he turned up unannounced at the former family home in the morning and asked if he could take Scarlett to the park and McDonald’s as he had taken the day off work.
Miss Roberts said: “He said he was thinking about what happened yesterday and had realised he had lost us and had taken the day off work and didn’t want to waste it.”
She agreed as long as he brought their daughter back by midday as she needed to get a school uniform.
She added: “He said to Scarlett to say goodbye to mummy and tell her you love her.”
She returned to the house in Doncaster later that day and realised Straw had been back because he had returned the family dog.
When she entered her house Miss Roberts noticed writing over the walls in his handwriting. Pc Paul Setterfield, who attended the property after the discovery of Straw’s body on the tracks, said the writing was “of an abusive nature aimed at Samantha”.
Dc Ian Grice said: “There was a lot of hatred towards Samantha, a lot of look what you’ve done.”
Passing a verdict of suicide, coroner Nicola Mundy said she was satisfied that this was a deliberate act.
She said the graffiti on the walls was full “of hatred and vitriol” and fear that he may lose contact with his daughter.
The court heard that Straw was on bail for a suspected arson attack on a property and was afraid that if he went to jail he would lose contact with his family.