‘Disturbed’ woman hung herself

A WOMAN took her own life “because the balance of her mind was disturbed”, a coroner ruled.

Hazel Stewart, 45, was found at her home in Yeovil Walk, in the Throston Grange area of Hartlepool, last month.

An inquest heard she had suffered from depression and was receiving care from Carewatch.

Ms Stewart had recently made threats to harm herself.

Care workers visited her home twice before returning in the evening with her estranged husband.

On the first two visits they left her food when she refused to get out of bed.

On the third visit she talked with her estranged husband and the carer and denied any thoughts of harming herself.

But a carer returned at 9pm on June 9 and found her hanging. Police found no suspicious circumstances and she had left a note.

Consultant pathologist Dr Kaushik Dasgupta carried out a post mortem examination and ruled the cause of death was hanging.

Mr Donnelly said: “This is just something that she did and I’m satisfied nobody else was involved and there was nothing else reasonable that could have been done to stop her doing this other than having a 24-hour watch.

“But to what extent do we interfere in people’s lives to that degree?”

Mr Donnelly asked Ms Stewart’s estranged husband if she had tried anything like this previously. He said: “About two years before that she did cut her wrist but it was very superficial.”

“A cry for help, it wasn’t going to kill her?”, asked Mr Donnelly.

“Yes, she went in Sandwell Park Hospital for a while,” he replied.

Mr Donnelly said: “I think the balance of her mind was disturbed. I think had she been thinking straight I don’t think she would have done this.

“She had obviously made a decision herself for no good reason that I can ascertain. She did kill herself, but while the balance of her mind was disturbed.”

Ms Stewart’s sister-in-law said: “She believed she was ill, she said she had a physical illness, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her.”

The post mortem examination found no other significant health issues. Neither relative was fully named during the inquest.