A FORMER Bolton School pupil who was hit by a train in Warrington took his own life after getting into financial difficulties, an inquest heard.

Lewis Smith, aged 27, died after stepping onto the tracks at Birchwood Railway Station at about midday on May 8.

Warrington Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Smith, who lived in Birchwood with his girlfriend Emma O’Connell, was a keen cyclist who had studied Geography at Lancaster University before working for both Vodafone and Direct Line.

In 2011 he met Miss O’Connell and they later moved into a flat they had brought.

However after becoming unemployed and having the couple’s working tax credits stopped, he got into financial difficulties.

The couple decided to move back in with their respective parents and Mr Smith told his girlfriend he would move back in with his father.

But Miss O’Connell said: “After about a week I noticed money going out of my bank account on takeaways and food. At that point I realised he hadn’t moved home and was living at the flat.”

Deputy coroner Dr Janet Napier recorded a verdict of suicide and said: “He was obviously very much loved by his parents, girlfriend and lots of other people. It’s such a terrible tragedy that his life was to end in this way.”

Mr Smith’s mother, Sandra said: “He was extremely loved.”