A young playwright committed suicide while plagued with mental anguish, an inquest in London found yesterday.

Sarah Kane's body was discovered hanging by one of the shoelaces from her trainers in a toilet in the Brunel Ward of King's College Hospital in south London in the early hours of February 20.

The death of the 28-year-old came just three days after a suicide attempt, the inquest heard.

Returning a verdict of suicide, Southwark coroner Dr Selena Lynch said: ''She was a bright star and she was burning brightly. But she was plagued with mental anguish and tormented by thoughts of suicide.''

Miss Kane shot to fame in January 1995 with her first play, Blasted, which featured rape, buggery, mutilation and cannibalism.

Despite her success, the inquest was told she had a long history of severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

A psychiatrist had found Miss Kane to be a high risk who should be detained under the Mental Health Act if she tried to leave her hospital room.

But the inquest heard staff nurses on the Brunel Ward were told she needed no special treatment or monitoring.

Miss Kane's father, Peter, said he was considering legal action.

He said later: ''I want answers as to why she wasn't given proper care in order that this doesn't happen to somebody else's daughter.''