A Hampshire mother has criticised mental health staff after she pleaded for help for her mentally ill son, who died when he plunged in front of a train.

Caroline Ferguson said her son Eddie Pearse had threatened to kill her and students at Peter Symonds College.

At an inquest into his death yesterday his mother criticised mental health staff's care for her 18-year-old son who died when he jumped in front of a train at Winchester Station in February.

Mrs Ferguson challenged psychiatrist Dr Ravi Thyagarajan and she said: "He threatened to kill me. He threatened to kill students at Peter Symonds College.

"I ran to the bedroom and barricaded myself in my bedroom and rang you. I begged you for help and you said you couldn't help me."

Mrs Ferguson added that her son was a "desperately ill young person", adding that two of his uncles had died young by taking their own lives.

"In the 16 months before he died he had contact with a mental health professional for less than 10 hours," she said.

The hearing was told that Eddie, of Western Road, Winchester, suffered from compulsive behaviour, violent fantasies and suicidal thoughts, telling one therapist: "I just don't think living is for me."

At his final psychiatric assessment in January, Eddie asked nurse Gemma Stubbington for an increase in his anti-depressants because he felt low and was hearing voices encouraging him to kill himself.

She was unable to authorise this, but filed the required referral paperwork the next day.

The hearing was also told Eddie had been unsettled by his parents' separation and that the recent resignation from a job at Age Concern Hampshire was a “contributory factor” in the youngster's thought processes before his death.

He had started a year-long business apprenticeship with Age Concern's offices in St Cross Road in December last year but the hearing was told he resigned after just a month following concerns about his performance.

He tried several days later to retract it, launching a grievance procedure about his treatment by the charity just before his death.

Father Jeremy Pearse said his son had been "bamboozled" into resigning, adding: "He was pressurised into writing that letter."

Age Concern Hampshire CEO Richard Smith said the amount of support Eddie had required had been high.

He added: "He was in the wrong job, doing the wrong work. This is a very busy office we were working in.

"Maybe if we were a rich organisation with very deep pockets, we could have got a one-to-one assessor to work alongside him.

"But as a charity for older people, we didn't have the resources."

Recording a verdict that Eddie intended to take his own life, coroner Grahame Short said his departure from Age Concern played a part in his suicide.

“I do believe it (his resignation) was a blow to him and I do believe it did set him back.

“I do think that it had the effect that he was no longer in a supporting structure, he had plenty of time on his hands, time to dwell and think about his future.

“Although the loss of his job didn't directly lead to his death, I do believe it was a contributory factor in his thought processes.”