A PREGNANT 30-year-old suffering from depression and mental illness leapt in front of a Eurostar train travelling at 80mph.

Antoinette Howlett, of Kynaston Road, Orpington, had to be identified by her dental records because of the force of the collision.

The mum-of-one had mental health problems for 12 years but deteriorated unexpectedly, her husband, Christopher, said. She disappeared after a hospital visit and jumped in front of the high-speed train as it travelled through Orpington station.

Mrs Howlett was being treated at Green Parks psychiatric hospital, Farnborough, for body dysmorphic disorder, which caused her to worry about her appearance.

Mr Howlett, a builder, who lives with their son, Fred, three, described how his wife usually coped with her condition but “lost control” in the days before her death on May 27.

He said: “She was like someone possessed. I’d never seen her like that. She kept saying, ‘You’ve got to let me go’.” His wife did not sleep for four days and was chain-smoking and not eating properly, Mr Howlett told Croydon Coroner’s Court. She became convinced she was losing her baby and insisted her husband take her to hospital.

Staff at Green Parks recommended she go to A&E and, after a scan showed all was well, she went for a cigarette. Mr Howlett did not see his wife again.

Reading from a statement by Eileen Dixon, who was standing next to Mrs Howlett when she jumped at 5.45pm, deputy coroner John Sampson said: “We were all in shock. People were asking what had happened and we were trying to make sense of it. Some were very upset.” The inquest jury returned a verdict of suicide.