Woman committed suicide after years of depression

A 54-YEAR-OLD from Seaford took her own life after suffering years of depression and a debilitating condition.

Ella Watt was found by her husband with a plastic bag over her head after a carer raised the alarm.

An inquest heard the Claremont Road resident had depression, impaired hearing and had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which caused her considerable back pain.

The inquest, held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court, heard that Mrs Watt, who was separated from her husband had carers visit her twice a week who would get her food shopping for her.

Mrs Watt, who had taken overdoses on previous occasions and was prescribed anti-depressants over the years, was described as a 'very private lady' by Chrissie Ward, a director at Handy Helpers based in Brooklyn Road, Seaford.

Mrs Ward, who provided care for Mrs Watt along with her colleague Alison Chinamano, said she was 'surprised' when a week before her death Mrs Watt asked if she could go shopping with her for the first time.

She later bought herself a car days before her death after being impressed by Mrs Ward's automatic vehicle.

On February 10 Miss Chinamano went to visit Mrs Watt but could not get an answer and rang her client's mother.

As a result Mrs Watt's husband John was contacted and drove to the flat with the keys. In the meantime the police were also called.

Mrs Ward, who also attended the address, said, "He (Mr Watt) went in front of us and opened the door and I walked in. There was a mirror and I could see in the reflection that she was in bed with the plastic bag over her face.

"I never had any knowledge that she had suicidal thoughts."

A post mortem showed she had 156mcg of alcohol in 100ml of blood and diazepan and nordiazepam was found. The combination of the benzodiazepine and alcohol would have caused marked sedation but would not be sufficient to cause intoxication.

The cause of death was given as suffocation caused by the plastic bag.

Mr Watt told the hearing that his wife had had a depressive breakdown after being made redundant from her job from which she took several months to recover. The pair then moved to Tonbridge after she gained work at a voluntary organisation. During this time he said she suffered from another breakdown and was on gardening leave.

They later moved back to Seaford and after their separation Mr Watt kept in touch with his spouse mainly through text message.

He told the inquest she had discussed suicide with him and that he believed she had intended to take her own life.

Detective Inspector Neil Ralph told the inquest that after all the evidence was gathered he had concluded that Mrs Watt had taken her own life and no third party had been involved.

Deputy Coroner Joanna Pratt recorded a verdict of suicide.

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