Open verdict on young Park North mum found suffocated to death
A YOUNG mum was found suffocated to death by a roll of clingfilm just hours before she was set to visit her son, an inquest heard.
Rebecca Kate Haynes, known as Becky to her family and friends, was found dead in her flat in Twyford Close, Park North on March 9 by her boyfriend Mark Perkins.
The 22-year-old, who had a two-year-old son, had been diagnosed in 2009 with paranoid schizophrenia and had told doctors she regulary heard voices.
Coroner Ian Singleton, at Trowbridge Coroners’ Court, yesterday recorded an open verdict into her death as he said there was not evidence enough that she intended to take her own life.
The court heard about the state of Becky’s mental health from several witnesses, including her mum, Diane Fancourt, and boyfriend Mark.
The inquest also heard that just weeks before she died she had visited Swindon railway station with thoughts of throwing herself in front of a train but instead boarded a train to Bristol and stayed overnight.
Her mum said she had first showed signs of problems when she was at agricultural college at the age of 17, when she was evicted from the halls of residence and later from a bed and breakfast.
She said: “She seemed a different character to how she was when she was younger, unable to abide by the rules and it was at this time she started drinking and using cannabis.
“Her personality changed quite dramatically.
“We took her to a GP beause we were worried about her personality in particular and they involved a crisis team at that point.”
After running away to Dublin, Becky was admitted to hospital and later returned to Swindon in 2009 where she became pregnant. It was only then, in the second trimester, that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
After a period of improvement, Becky had to undergo a parenting assessment following a difficult birth before social services took her son into care. he was later fostered by her mum.
Before her death, Diane, of Berkshire, said her daughter had given no hint of suicidal thoughts and her diary had shown she had been making efforts to get off drugs.
Becky had begun volunteer work at a local mental health charity shop, Top Drawer in the weeks before she died, and on the morning of her death called her mum to arrange to visit.
Diane said: “Certainly, during the last few weeks of her life her diary entries said ‘no weed’ on every page. She was trying to give up drink as well. My initial reaction was total disbelief.
“She loved spa treatments and I thought maybe in a silly moment she had done a face pack and put some clingfilm over her face. I just thought it was a silly accident. It was a total, total shock.”
Becky’s doctor, Dr Ramesh Sivasubramanyam, said she had complained of hearing voices telling her to hurt or kill herself but his last meeting with her at the end of February this year was their most positive.
He said: “This was without doubt the best, best meeting I have had with Becky in all the years I have known her.”
The pathologist recorded that Becky died of asphyxia and the toxicology report revealed she only had prescription medication in her blood.