Depression caused high-flier's suicide

SEVERE depression led a woman to throw herself in front of a train just a day before her 27th birthday.

Claire Hankin was described as a high achiever but always felt she could do better, an inquest heard.

Moments after talking to her boyfriend about her birthday plans she went to Portchester railway station and jumped in front of a train.

Steven Cutter was at the station on May 8 last year with his wife.

He told the Portsmouth inquest: 'I recall seeing a girl walk past me as I got my tickets.

'There was an announcement that the next train would not be stopping at the station so could everyone stand back.

'As it came past it suddenly stopped – straight away I knew something was wrong.

'My wife turned to me and said: "You don't think that girl has jumped, do you?".

'I looked over and she wasn't on the platform.'

The station was closed as emergency services rushed to the scene but it was too late to save her life.

The pathologist report stated she died of severe multiple injuries.

The inquest heard how Miss Hankin had previously taken an overdose of paracetamol in 1988, and again 10 years later.

And in 2005 she was rushed to hospital when she swallowed 14 anti-depressant tablets.

Miss Hankin trained as a nurse and had been working as an occupational therapist assistant at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

But she didn't like working on the wards and preferred to be out in the community.

Her unrest at work increased the depression she had suffered since an early age.

At the Portsmouth inquest, her father Paul Hankin, of Queen Mary Road, Portchester, said: 'Claire always set high standards and would be upset if she didn't achieve them.

'We knew she had depression problems from a young age but we thought she was on the up.

'It came as such a massive shock to the whole family and a tragedy we are still trying to come to terms with.'

The coroner recorded a verdict that Miss Hankin took her own life while depressed.