A JURY returned an open verdict on the death of a man who was struck by a train at Newton Aycliffe.

Joseph Michael Creen, 45, of Priestman Road, Newton Aycliffe, was killed when he was hit by a train in Aycliffe Village on May 31 last year. The inquest at Bishop Auckland Magistrates' Court heard how Mr Creen had recently been released from prison but seemed positive about getting on with his life.

The driver of the freight train, Neil Aldcroft, said it was late at night and he saw a man behind the junction box. He then said the man ran in front of the train.

Mr Creen had been walking with friend David Anderson for about 40 minutes before the incident. In a statement, Mr Anderson said Mr Creen was in good spirits.