Tom Maynard was 'habitual cocaine user', batsman's inquest hears

Accidental death verdict on 'very special' Surrey player who was killed on live railway tracks

The Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard had been a habitual user of cocaine for several months, and was four times over the legal limit for drink-driving when his body was discovered on a railway track in south-east London in the early hours of the morning last summer, according to evidence put before an inquest into his death.

The jury at Westminster Coroners Court returned a verdict of accidental death at an inquest during which Maynard was described by Surrey team-mates as "incredibly talented" and "the club's most highly prized asset".

Maynard, a right-handed batsman who had been widely tipped to play for England, had been on a night out with two of his team-mates, England bowler Jade Dernbach and the former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, in the Ship pub in Wandsworth and later the Aura nightclub in Mayfair. He returned home in the early hours of Monday 18 June, from where he telephoned his girlfriend, Carly Baker, at 3.30am, telling her he was coming to see her.

But the inquest heard that before he could get there his car was stopped by aofficers in an unmarked police car, patrolling for suspected car thieves, who saw him "driving erratically". They followed Maynard's black Mercedes into Ryfold Road, in Wimbledon, and then switched on the blue lights. Maynard ran off in the direction of Wimbledon Park at around 4am. One of the officers followed him, but soon lost him. A dog unit was called, but Maynard could not be found.

At 5.03am, Martin Hopping, a train driver, saw his body on the tracks. Injuries show he was electrocuted by live wires. "Initially I thought that white ballast bags had been left on the tracks," he said. "To my horror I saw a pair of trainers. The person was perfectly still lying across all four tracks. The arms were down by its side. The impression I had was not that it had fallen but that this person had laid down."

Nevertheless, the coroner Fiona Wilcox said the evidence could not justify a suicide verdict.

Dr Simon Poole, a forensic science pathologist said that hair samples taken from Maynard's body showed signs consistent with "habitual or daily use" of cocaine over the three-and-a-half month period in which the hair had grown. His body also contained traces of MDMA, the drug most commonly known as ecstasy, as well as the presence of compounds that showed cocaine had combined with alcohol in his body, strongly suggesting he had taken cocaine that night.

Giving evidence, his girlfriend Ms Baker, Dernbach and Hamilton-Brown, the latter of whom he shared a flat with, all claimed they did not know Maynard had been using drugs. The punishment for a cricketer, if caught, would be a two-year ban, but testing for recreational drugs, rather than performance-enhancing ones, is not standardised in English cricket. Officials have said they will improve testing for recreational drugs.

Giving evidence, Baker said Maynard had sounded "unusually down" when he telephoned her. "He said three times, 'You're the only thing that makes me happy'," she told the court, and explained she had told him not to drive over as she thought he had been drinking. She knew Maynard was driving, as she could tell his phone was on the loudspeaker setting. When Maynard did not arrive, she phoned him "50 times".

Maynard had faced a previous disciplinary charge from Surrey after he had been hit by a car while drinking, sustaining an injury that had kept him out of the team.

PC Steve Tucker, of the British Transport Police, said getting on the railway tracks "involved climbing over barbed wire", and "would have taken some effort".

The physio at Surrey, Alex Tysone, described Maynard as "the life and soul of the club. He had the looks, the charm, the talent, but there wasn't an arrogant bone in his body," he said in a statement read before the court.

Maynard's father is the former England cricketer Matthew Maynard. His son had already toured with the England Lions.

In a statement issued through the Professional Cricketers' Association, the Maynard family said: "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. "He was a very special person and his death leaves a huge hole in all our lives."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee