A CAMBRIDGE University student, who is believed to have committed suicide four days after his close friend Tan Mingwei was run over and killed by a London bus, was still trying to cope with the recent loss of his mother, said the London Evening Standard.

The body of George Starling, a second-year engineering student, was discovered in his college flat. Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

His father Lt-Col John Starling said his son was 'tipped over the edge' by the sudden death of fellow Cambridge student Ms Tan, a 20-year-old Singaporean medical student, as he was still trying to cope with the loss of his mother Deborah, who died in her sleep five months ago at her home in Uffington, Oxfordshire.

'He was good friends with the girl,' Lt-Col Starling told the Evening Standard. 'There is no indication she was his girlfriend but she could have been, as we didn't discuss matters. I think his friend's sudden death was the event that tipped him over the edge.

'He lost his mum, my wife, just five months ago. For most of his life I've been serving abroad and he was brought up by his mum. He was depressed after she died. I took him back to the college on Friday and we saw the flags at half mast. When he picked up the key at the porter's lodge we saw a notice about a girl's death he said, That's my college mother'. When I left him he was speaking to a friend like any other student.'

Mr Starling was said to be grief-stricken following the death of Ms Tan - who was acting as his college 'mentor' - on Sept 30 at Haverstock Hill in Belsize Park. The pair were both studying engineering at Peterhouse and had developed a close friendship, said the Evening Standard. Mr Starling was last seen by his father on Oct 1, the day after Ms Tan's death.

Lt-Col Starling, a lecturer in small arms design, said his son could not be contacted the weekend before his body was found on Monday afternoon. Lt-Col Starling, 52, said: 'George was just a nice lad and got to Cambridge off his own back. He had so much potential. I am devastated.'

A 50-year-old bus driver was arrested in connection with the collision and has been released on bail.

He still grieved mum's death