Sales assistant who was brought up in Eastbourne found dead in Edinburgh

A 20-year-old woman who spent her time between Edinburgh and Eastbourne died at her flat, an inquest heard.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:07 pm

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (September 16), heard Jessica Balcombe, who worked as a sales assistant, was found dead in her flat in Forrester Park Loan, Edinburgh, on February 25 2019.

Miss Balcombe’s parents lived in Netherfield Avenue in Eastbourne and she had moved to Edinburgh to be with her boyfriend, Joshua Scott.

According to Mr Scott, the couple met in Edinburgh in November 2016, and eventually lived together. Miss Balcombe moved back to Eastbourne temporarily before returning and renting a flat in Edinburgh at the end of 2018 where the couple spent a lot of time together.

Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-210216-141612001

Mr Scott said Miss Balcombe suffered from depression but didn’t seek professional help.

On the evening of February 23 Mr Scott left Miss Balcombe to go on a night out. He said he was in contact with Jess on and off all night until he returned to his parent’s house and fell asleep at 6am.

The inquest heard that working shifts meant Mr Scott didn’t return to Miss Balcombe’s flat until 5pm on Febraury 25, which is when he found her dead in her room.

He called 999 and ambulance crews confirmed Miss Balcombe was dead at the scene.

Vince Buss, Miss Balcombe’s step-father, last saw her on January 4 as she’d been in Eastbourne to visit family.

He said, “It’s the most unbelievable shock. She had so much to look forward to.”

Mr Buss said she may have had a personality disorder, but they ‘never saw signs of it’.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled Miss Balcombe took her own life.

• If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.