A ‘beautiful’ wife, mother and daughter dies on the streets of Eastbourne

A ‘beautiful’ mother, wife and daughter died on the streets of Eastbourne town centre after a history of problems with drugs and alcohol.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:18 pm
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Jade Donoghue, 42, was found dead on May 23 outside the TJ Hughes store in Terminus Road after spending the evening with two men from the homeless community, an inquest at Eastbourne heard.

Mrs Donoghue’s husband, John, said after the inquest, “She was a beautiful person. I loved her so much. I miss her.”

Mrs Moira Mewett, Mrs Donoghue’s mother, said in a statement, “I had a very good, close relationship with Jade. I miss her very much. She had a very nice personality and was interested in animals.

“The last time I spoke to Jade was on my birthday, the day before she died. She seemed to be in quite good spirits and wished me happy birthday.

“I was getting ready for my party and the police came and told me she was found dead on the streets.”

The inquest heard Mrs Donoghue was found in bushes in Princes Park, the night before her death, by Peter Pollard, a man she knew from the street community, who picked her up in a supermarket trolley and pushed her to TJ Hughes.

Police officers arrived at the scene at 11.15am the next morning.

PC Leon Franco, one of the officers who attended, said in a statement, “In the morning two men discovered Mrs Donoghue was unresponsive and they panicked.

“Mrs Donoghue was in a sleeping bag in front of the TJ Hughes store. Ambulance services had confirmed the individual was already dead on my arrival.”

PC Fleur Boorman, who also attended the scene, said in a statement, “Pollard woke up and thought Jade was still asleep. He went to the shop and came back to realise Jade was deceased.

“Pollard told me Jade had a fit and he put her in the recovery position afterwards. He said she had been scoring crack and cocaine.

“At 12.15pm a member of the public came out of a shop and was asking if anyone had a phone, saying, ‘please my friend isn’t moving, she is ice cold and won’t wake up, she has been there all night’.”

The inquest heard police received reports the night before from a member of the public who had seen Mrs Donoghue in the shopping trolley accompanied by Pollard.

DS Webb, of Sussex Police, said, “Police went to check on her. She was responding to them, then they questioned her, they asked if she wanted medical treatment but she declined.

“Police decided it would be best if she stayed with Peter Pollard. There was no concern at that point for her immediate welfare.

“Police did not see Jade again until she was in back of the ambulance. It appeared to me she had passed away sadly while sleeping in the night.”

The inquest heard Mrs Donoghue was recently released from Woodlands Centre for Acute Care after she was sectioned due to difficulties with her mental health.

Dr Sohail Bakhsh, a staff psychiatrist at Woodlands, said, “In Mrs Donoghue’s last review at Woodlands she was not considered to be suicidal or psychotic. She successfully completed her detox at the service and was discharged.

“She considered her husband, son and mother as preventative factors in suicide.”

In a post-mortem exam, Dr David Wright said levels of various drugs and alcohol were found in Mrs Donoghue’s system including cocaine and opiates.

Dr Wright said Mrs Donoghue also had a severe chest infection and died of bronchial pneumonia, which was made worse by her drug and alcohol use.

Coroner Chris Wilkinson concluded Mrs Donoghue died of natural causes. He said, “My view is this was a natural cause of death, albeit, with the presence of alcohol and drugs.”