THE terrible pain being felt by the parents of tragic teenager Toni Hannant was clear for all to see yesterday as they appeared before television cameras. And so was their courage.

In braving the public glare at a time of unimaginable sadness, they deserve our compassion and admiration.

Fourteen-year-old Toni - a quiet, hard-working and popular schoolgirl - died when she was struck by a train in County Durham on Friday evening.

Despite their distress, Toni's mum and dad, Michael and Dawn, wanted to do whatever they could to warn other youngsters about the dangers of straying too close to railway lines.

It was the same warning we tried to hammer home earlier this year when we launched our No Messin' campaign after two teenage boys were killed on a railway line on the outskirts of Darlington.

"If I had to sit here every week and say don't go on the railway lines, I would," said Mr Hannant, unable to control his emotions. "Please listen when your mams and dads tell you not to go on the lines, please."

We hope Mr Hannant's heartbreaking words will be heard and read in homes throughout the country. We hope parents will see the need to sit down with their children and stress the importance of staying away from train tracks.

And we hope and pray that those children will listen