A solicitor threw himself under a train a year after losing his job at a major Sussex law firm.

Richard Fry spent months being treated for depression after he was sacked from the company where he had worked for 26 years.

He left Hove-based solicitors Griffith Smith Farrington Webb but the firm last night refused to say why.

Mr Fry, of The Street, Kingston, near Lewes, was admitted voluntarily to the psychiatric department at Eastbourne District General Hospital in February last year after one of his sons found a suicide note. He was then sectioned after he went to Beachy Head to contemplate suicide.

After he was discharged in May 2008 he became a patient at The Priory Hospital in Hove, then returned to the Eastbourne unit voluntarily. He was described as being at medium-to-high risk of suicide and was on antidepressants.

At 9.20am on October 16, 2008, a year to the day since he left his job, Mr Fry walked out of the unit. Staff did not begin to worry about him until about 11am.

He caught a train to Haywards Heath, where he climbed on to the tracks and stood in the middle of one line with his arms outstretched crucifixion-like as a train hurtled through the station. He was knocked down and killed at 11.05am.

Sue Brace, manager of acute services at the unit, said the system for monitoring patients had since been improved.

West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield refused to allow any evidence about the circumstances of Mr Fry’s dismissal to be heard. She recorded a verdict that Mr Fry took his own life.

Mr Fry’s son Tom read a statement at the hearing, describing him as a family man and keen sportsman who loved his work.

Tim Smith, a partner at Griffith Smith Farrington Webb, said: “It is a huge personal tragedy.”