Ex-BBC radio presenter killed by train ‘was suffering with her mental health’

A former BBC radio presenter who was fatally struck by a train had been struggling with her mental health, her grief-stricken father says.

Journalist Kelly Jobanputra died at the scene of the collision near Swindon station in Wiltshire on April 26, just months after giving birth to her second child.

Mrs Jobanputra, 40, was a "devoted" mum-of-two and she had been going through a "difficult" period after the birth of her son at the end of last year, said her father John Stooke.

Mr Stooke, 72, said his "bright and vivacious" daughter had been battling mental health issues which weren't apparent to the "outside world".

An inquest has not yet been held and the cause of death has not been determined by a coroner.

Mrs Jobanputra had written about her battle with post-natal depression, describing it as "like a very dark tunnel".

Her devastated father told the Sun: "Kelly was an outstanding person really. She struggled over the years with mental health issues but to the outside world you wouldn't have known it. 

"She was able to present a facade that covered it up but inside it wasn't easy for her."

Asked about her life in  the weeks before her death, Mr Stooke said: “Well, she'd had a baby six months ago. And since the baby had been born I think things were difficult for her, no question.”

Mr Stooke said his daughter called the day she died to ask if he could pick up her eight-year-old daughter from school.

She seemed fine that day when she left to go to Asda, he added.

Mr Stooke said she was a "devoted" mum to her young daughter and newborn son.

Mrs Jobanputra's family are planning a child-friendly funeral that will be a celebration of life with happy and positive stories about her, he said.

The father said it will be recorded on video so her children can watch it years from now to understand who she was and how much she was loved.

He explained: "We're going to get the children there and we're going to put on something they will always remember, and film it.

Mrs Jobanputra worked on local BBC radio stations for 15 years, and at one point produced a daytime programme for Radio 6 Music in London.

She left the BBC in 2012, and recently wrote reviews for the Swindon Advertiser and freelanced for the website 365 Bristol.

She contributed to Swindon Web as the Mum About Town, briefly presented a show on Ujima FM Radio in Bristol, and worked in the marketing group at the British Computing Society before her death.

Mr Stooke said his daughter became dedicated to helping others after her brother Corrie, 31, died of an accidental heroin overdose 15 years ago.

His death hit her "very hard", their father added.

Mr Stooke said Mrs Jobanputra would help bereaved families who lost children to meningitis , did work for mental health, serving as a Samaritan for four years and was a charity fundraiser for the Association for Post-Natal Illness.

Paying tribute to her, he said people need to understand that even though someone appears happy on the outside it may not tell the whole story.

The BBC said in a statement: “We are sorry to hear this incredibly sad news and our thoughts are with Kelly’s family and friends at this time.”

If you need to speak to someone, Samaritans are available 24/7 by calling 116 123 or by emailing   [email protected]

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