Senior legal assistant from America killed himself in Stratford while on honeymoon

Stratford tube station. Picture: Ken Mears

Stratford tube station. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

An American on honeymoon killed himself at Stratford tube station after his wife discovered his alcohol addiction had resurfaced, an inquest found.

James Feighan from Haddonfield in New Jersey, spent his last day savouring the sights of London with the love of his life, Alexi.

The couple whiled away their belated trip as any tourists would: exploring the city and snapping photos.

But the mood soured back in their Stratford hotel room that evening.

Returning with supplies from a nearby branch of Sainsbury’s, Alexi discovered the 32-year-old had filled bottles of juice with vodka.


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An argument ensued after Mr Feighan, a senior legal assistant for the City of Philadelphia Law Department, confessed to drinking at work. He left the room, ostensibly to go outside for a cigarette, never to return.

A graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia and a keen musician, Mr Feighan had previously received treatment for alcoholism in the US and once attempted self-harm, Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard today (Tuesday).

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CCTV cameras at Stratford station would later capture him walking along a Jubilee line platform at about 9pm on February 20, when he ran and threw himself in the path of an approaching train.

He left no note and toxicology reports of his liver found no trace of alcohol. There was no evidence to suggest he had slipped or fallen, according to security footage and written testimony from the driver.

Mr Feighan’s mobile phone records revealed he had searched for Alcoholics Anonymous groups London that evening.

Noting a post-mortem exam that found Mr Feighan died of “a massive head injury”, alongside multiple other wounds sustained by the force of the impact, assistant coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe called the incident “a deliberate act”.

She took about half an hour in Queens Road to record his death as suicide, adding: “[his] previous history of depression and self-harm is sufficient for me to record James Patrick Feighan killed himself.”

Dr Radcliffe then offered her “deepest condolences” to his wife and family, who did not attend.

People can call Samaritans for free any time on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of their nearest branch.

Alternatively, if you need help with a drinking problem people can telephone the Alcoholics Anonymous national help line on 0800 9177 650 or contact them by email at help@aamail.org

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