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Boy, 17, kills himself by stepping in front of train 'to be with mom' who was murdered by dad before his eyes

'He had a lot of hatred for his father, he couldn't understand what he had done,' said the boy's grandmom
Jamie McKitten witnessed his mother being murdered by his father (Facebook/Jamie McKitten)
Jamie McKitten witnessed his mother being murdered by his father (Facebook/Jamie McKitten)

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

DURHAM, ENGLAND: Childhood abuse and trauma often creates a serious and long-lasting impact on a child's mind that leads him to a dangerous or harmful situation. Tragically, this was the case for 17-year-old Jamie McKitten from Durham, England who witnessed his father sexually abuse and murder his mom when he was just four. Nearly 13 years later, in 2021, Jamie died by suicide by walking in front of a train because he "wanted to be with his mom." 

Jamie hid in his bedroom when he saw his mother being murdered by his father. As he grew older, he began to miss his mother even more. "He would say how much he wanted to be with her and would cry at night, he couldn't remember the sound of his mother's voice," stated his maternal grandmother, Shelley, who took him in after his mom's death. Jamie's father, Stuart Cummings was jailed for life for the murder but the entire incident left a profound impact on young Jamie. "He had a lot of hatred for his father, he couldn't understand what he had done. The only thing we couldn't give him was his mother back," she added.


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Talking about Jamie's parents, Mirror quoted Shelley as saying, "The relationship between my daughter and Stuart was not good. Stuart was often with other women and was a bully as a father. He once locked Jamie in his bedroom while he had another woman in the house."

When he was 12 years old, he was diagnosed with PTSD and according to the reports of Chronical Live, it is believed that he had ADHD too, although he was never diagnosed formally. "For the first year, Jamie received counseling from Barnado's and was appointed a social worker who he never met and because of this Jamie was left out by social services in those early days," Shelley recalled. 

Jamie was later expelled from school and was then admitted to a school for people with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties as his mother's death impacted his behavior at school as well. He was gearing up to go to college and take up the GCSEs in 2020. He got into Derwentside College to study construction, even though his grades were not high. Jamie wanted to be an electrician but he realized that college was not meant for him. 

He then took up a landscaping job with his uncle and had big plans for the future. Jamie was looking to invest the criminal compensation he was going to receive soon in a truck and start a business. His grandparents gifted him driving lessons for his 17th birthday. The teenager was looking forward to make a fresh start in his life and it was a major sign of improvement, given the difficult circumstances through which he lived for the last few years. Shelley said "Jamie's behaviour was up and down, when he was feeling down he would be very angry. He used to smash things. As he got older, he recognised his anger and would take himself away to calm down. When he was calm, he was lovely, you couldn't wish for a nicer lad." She continued, "Jamie had low self-esteem, he couldn't accept praise. When he was told he was good at something he would not cope with the pressure and do something bad to jeopardise things. He loved football and rugby and loved cross-country running. Jamie was also very good at cricket and had a trial for the county and he loved clay pigeon shooting with his grandad Joe."

Jamie always found a way out to cope with the loss of his mother but none of them fruitful. He stopped seeing a counselor because every time he changed one, he had to relive the tragic moments he lost his mom over and over again. "He didn't want to talk about it anymore, when he got a new counsellor he had to relive the trauma", the heartbroken grandmother said. Jamie soon became a drug addict and had begun drinking vodka, smoking cannabis, and used cocaine as well. He was at a park with his friends and it is believed that he was intoxicated even on the evening of his death. He called his grandfather to pick him up. However, his grandfather also had a couple of drinks and his grandmother did not know how to drive which left Jamie with no other option other than to walk to his home all by himself. 

Coroners Enquiry Coordinator for the British Transport Police collected information from witnesses who said that he had jumped into a river with his phone after the call. He was spotted at a store using the phone to again call his grandparents later that evening. A witness remembered him saying, "You don't understand, you don't have a clue. Alright nee, bother." He walked to the train station after the call and walked over the platform. When a train passed by he jumped down and walked in front of it. 

According to postmoretm reports, Jamie died of multiple injuries he suffered from being struck by a train. A toxicology report showed traces of alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine. Assistant Coroner Leslie Hamilton recorded a conclusion of suicide saying, "For me, the most notable thing is that he stands for a minute and a half on the track then steps across to the other lane just as the train approaches."