A Downing Street secretary killed herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her daughter, killed by a drink driver in May, an inquest heard yesterday.

Brenda Geransar, 53, left her husband Darius a note saying: 'A dead wife is better than a mad wife.'

She was killed instantly by a train as she stood on the track at Hyde Park Corner Tube station after a similar attempt had failed at Earls Court. An inquest jury at Southwark Coroner's Court took less than 10 minutes to return a verdict that she killed herself.

Mr Geransar, of Mead Vale Road, Ealing, told the court that on the morning of his wife's death he believed he had managed to dissuade her from any suicide attempt. He drove her to work at No 12 Downing Street but it was later discovered that she had not been seen by any of her colleagues.