A WOMAN persecuted by feelings of inadequacy killed herself by stepping in front of a speeding train, an inquest has heard.

Margaret Edwards, originally of The Groves in York, died on September 10, 2007 after parking her car in Moor Lane near the Askham Bar roundabout and stepping onto the railway track in front of an intercity train bound for London and travelling at 90mph.

The inquest, held at New Earswick Folk Hall yesterday, heard from the train driver Richard Ellerton who has nearly 25 years experience in the job.

He said: “I just saw movement as I was approaching the bridge, it was in the bushes on the line side. I got nearer the bridge and then saw a person come out of the bush and on to the rails. She didn’t stand up straight, she kept a low position.

“I hauled on the brake and hit the horn, but at that speed it would take between a quarter and a half of a mile to come to a halt.”

A post-mortem examination found Mrs Edwards, who had split from her husband 20 years previously, died from massive injuries to her head and body. The inquest heard that she had been suffering from mental illness for some time and had been admitted to hospital on various occasions.

The 55-year-old was on tablets for depression and to stabilise her mood as well as anti-psychotic medication.

The inquest was told that despite being born into a Catholic family she became a Jehovah’s Witness in the late 1970s. This put enormous pressure on her marriage which subsequently broke up in the late 1980s.

Gareth Bull, a mental health worker in Harrogate where Mrs Edwards lived, said Mrs Edwards has low self worth and at times felt it difficult to live up the ideas of her faith.

He said: “One comment she made was that she deserved to be tortured by the devil.”

Following her death a suicide note was found in her home in Links Road.

Recording a verdict that Mrs Edwards killed herself, York coroner Donald Coverdale said he was satisfied she knew what she was doing at the time.