AN ELECTRIC heater fell into the bath and killed a 59-year-old Eastbourne woman. Linda Day was found dead in her Hartfield Road flat by her neighbour on July 2, 2010.
An inquest into her death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon (January 27).
Ms Day was found in a half-full bath with the heater on her legs and a post mortem report gave the cause of death as electrocution.
The inquest heard she had suffered from mental illness in the past and had a number of drug overdoses. She was also taking painkillers for her chronic back pain which was caused by heavy lifting as a care assistant many years before.
Despite her previous overdoses, Ms Day’s friends and family said she was feeling positive around the time of her death and would not have taken her life in that way.
Her cousin Colin Day, who lives in Shoreham, said, “Linda was very upset over the death of her little dog which happened in about May last year.
“But despite her sadness, she had been looking for another dog so I do not feel she was suicidal about the dog.
“She was also shy and private - she would have been horrified to think she would be found in her bath.
“I also feel she would have wanted to say goodbye to my mother as she was very close to her.
“I feel she would have left a note, even if it was in a coded way, but there was nothing like that.“
Kathleen Edwards, who was friends with Ms Day for more than 30 years, said Ms Day felt the cold because she suffered from bad circulation.
Ms Edwards told the coroner Ms Day would put on an electric heater to warm up the bathroom but said she had assured her she always turned it off before getting in the bath.
She added, “No way would Linda have taken her life without leaving a message for her aunt. She would never wished to have been found unclothed.”
Ken Yates, Ms Day’s neighbour who found her body when he used his spare key to enter her home, agreed with Mr Day and Ms Edwards and also paid tribute to his neighbour.
He said, “She was a pleasant, sweet lady and she would do anything for anyone. It is Eastbourne’s loss that there is not a Linda and a Yorkie walking around.”
Deputy coroner Joanna Pratt said it was a tragic accident and recorded a verdict of accidental death.