A WIRRAL mother took her own life after stepping out in front of an oncoming train, an inquest heard.

Karren Grist, from Hoylake, died on June 28 last year after she was struck by a Merseyrail train at a level crossing travelling from Liverpool to West Kirby.

The 51-year-old, who was living at Melrose Care Home, Hoylake, had walked out onto the track between Manor Road and Hoylake stations before being hit.

The hearing, which was held on Thursday at Wallasey Town Hall, was told how the mum-of-one had a long history of mental health issues for which she was receiving care and treatment.

Coroner’s officer Donald Johnston said: “At around 6.50am on June 28 2011, she was seen to walk onto the crossing just as a train was about to negotiate the crossing. The driver was unable to take any avoiding action before colliding with her.”

According to witness John Hughes, who had been out walking his dog on the morning of the tragedy, Ms Grist was seen standing at the gateway of the crossing “staring towards Manor Road.”

Mr Hughes asked her to move aside so he could get past but he said there was no reason to believe she was about to harm herself.

However when he walked back towards the crossing, he realised what she was about to do.

Train driver Keith Williams said he was travelling at around 20mph and was about 20ft or more away from her when he saw on the crossing.

In a statement read out at the inquest, he said: “I had no time to sound the horn and applied the brakes manually and shouted ‘no’ but the train didn’t stop immediately.”

The hearing was also told by psychiatric nurse Nicola Swan that Ms Grist had expressed thoughts of jumping in front of a train or putting anti-freeze in her food but said she did not want to die.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died of multiple injuries.

Recording a verdict that Ms Grist killed herself, Wirral coroner Christopher Johnson said: “Taking all the evidence leaves me in no doubt that in doing what she did, she intended to and did take her own life.”