Inquest: Mother Took Her Own Life

PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 December 2008 | UPDATED: 16:48 05 May 2010

A GRIEVING mother who suffered two bereavements in tragic circumstances took her own life, an inquest heard. Rita Masters, 68, of Wildwood Lane, Stevenage, fell from around 60ft from the roof of the car park in St George s Way on August 11. Paramedics con

A GRIEVING mother who suffered two bereavements in tragic circumstances took her own life, an inquest heard.

Rita Masters, 68, of Wildwood Lane, Stevenage, fell from around 60ft from the roof of the car park in St George's Way on August 11.

Paramedics conveyed her to Lister Hospital where she died from multiple traumatic injuries including fractures to the hips and femur.

An inquest heard today (Wednesday) how she developed anxiety and depression in 2007 and as a result she was referred to the community mental health service.

Dr Kuttalingham Shankar, a consultant in old age psychiatry at the Lister, said: "She wasn't sleeping or eating and had become agitated. A member of the team visited her and she was admitted to hospital."

But during her stay in hospital her husband committed suicide.

"She was monitored because of risks of self harm," Mr Shankar said.

Mrs Masters wanted to return to her home where she had lived for 43 years but her family thought it would be difficult for her to go back and felt it was time she went into sheltered accommodation.

But at the end of April tragedy struck again when one of her daughters committed suicide.

On the day that she died her psychiatric community nurse, Victoria Tweedy, said her condition had improved and dropped her off outside her home so she could walk into town for two hours. She went back to collect her at 3.45pm.

But Mrs Masters was seen falling from the car park by Lister nurse Deborah Lovejoy at around 2.30pm.

Coroner Edward Thomas said the evidence "leads me to the conclusion she took her own life and that's what she intended from those actions while her balance of mind was disturbed because she was suffering from an anxiety disorder.

"She had lost a lot and I think that's what caused her death.

"I felt devastated because I had dealt with the inquests of her husband and daughter.

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