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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 14:28 GMT
Train suicide for drugs case man
Nick Baker
Mr Baker was arrested after drugs were found in a bag he was carrying
A man who died after allegedly duping a friend into smuggling drugs killed himself by placing his head on a railway track, an inquest has heard.

The body of James Prunier from Stroud was found on a rail line by Gloucester train station in August 2004.

The 42-year-old's friend Nick Baker from Stroud, was jailed for 14 years for drugs offences he claims he did not commit, in June 2003.

A jury in Gloucester took 40 minutes to reach a suicide verdict.

In 1999 he had attempted to take his own life after discovering his wife was having an affair.

Railway tracks

In the intervening years he had developed an addiction to cocaine and alcohol and had moved in with his sister.

The court heard that in August 2004 he was admitted to Gloucester Royal Hospital where he received treatment for a drug overdose.

He told a social care specialist at the hospital that if he was discharged he would be "up on the railway line".

Mr Prunier's body was found on railway tracks 500 yards from Gloucester station in the early hours of 17 August.

His doctor Alastair Smith said he had become increasingly depressed at media speculation linking him to Nick Baker's case.

Nick Baker's mother, who is campaigning for her son's release, speaking after the case said: "Nick had gone to Japan as a favour to James.

"They had become friends through football and Nick was devastated when he found out that James had died.

"The situation makes me angry but I didn't want anyone to lose their life."

Nick Baker is currently appealing against his conviction. His next hearing is due on 22 February.


SEE ALSO:
'Vital' drugs case man found dead
18 Aug 04 |  Gloucestershire
Drug charge appeal is adjourned
17 Jun 04 |  Gloucestershire
Briton's drug charge appeal due
17 Jun 04 |  Gloucestershire
Jailed Briton's family step up campaign
09 Jan 04 |  Gloucestershire
Jailed Briton's family raise cash
13 Dec 03 |  Gloucestershire


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