A TEENAGER who took his own life by stepping in front of a train used the same first eight words in his suicide note as rock star Kurt Cobain, an inquest heard.

Joseph Barber, 17, a student at Brockenhurst College, died instantly when he was hit by the train just after midnight on February 23 near Hinton Admiral in the New Forest.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard how the talented computer programmer, a former pupil of Ringwood School, was a big fan of Nirvana, whose front man Cobain took his own life in 1994.

Joseph had a problem with cannabis and legal highs and was receiving psychiatric treatment, the inquest heard.

His psychiatrist, Dr Adrian Marsden, of Pebble Lodge treatment centre in Bournemouth, told the inquest that Joe, of Mount Pleasant Drive, Bransgore, was depressed and had suicidal thoughts.

The court was told by the mother of Joe's girlfriend that on February 20 her daughter said she wanted to take a break from her relationship because she thought Joe’s cannabis use was becoming a problem.

Dr Marsden confirmed this may have been a trigger for the 17-year-old’s actions.

His father, Daniel Barber, told the inquest that he grew increasingly concerned about his son following a trip to their French chalet last year.

In an email sent to Dr Marsden, he said: “We have had a very difficult weekend with Joe.

“Everything was fine then it was quite scary how quickly his mood changed.

“We really just cannot cope anymore. This may end up splitting the family.

“I strongly believe there is something more fundamentally wrong with Joe and I cannot put my finger on it.”

Mr Barber also said that he and Joe were going away on a “lads skiing trip” with one of his friends in February, something which Joe was excited about.

The court was told by pathologist Dr Vipul Foria that Joseph would have died instantly.

Assistant coroner Simon Burge recorded a conclusion of death by suicide.

“I do want to make it very clear that [his girlfriend] should not feel responsible for what happened,” he said.

“For her to have wanted to cool things off with Joe for a while I consider fair and understandable.

“Despite what Joe may have thought, the world is not a better place without him.

“I can think of no-one who is personally responsible for Joe’s death. This was his decision and his alone.”

Following Joe’s death, a bridge over the railway line was the focus for friends wishing to pay their respects.

Scores of bouquets were laid in his memory, while the word “Joe” was scrawled on the brick wall.

Paying tribute after Joe’s death, Ringwood School head teacher Christina Edwards said she was “desperately sad” to hear of his death.

“He was a young man who had real character. He was creative and knew his own mind,” she said.

Another of Joseph’s friends, 16-year-old James Taylor Holdaway, said: “One of his best qualities was his notorious smile, which was like a child’s smile on Christmas Day.”