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The Citizen Burnley and Pendle
2:22pm Wednesday 6th May 2009
By Peter Magill
A FAMILY has spoken of its shock after a 23-year-old took her own life in woodland on the outskirts of Burnley.
Friends had urged former St Hilda’s RC High pupil Caroline Park to talk through her problems and tell people what was on her mind, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.
But family and close pals agreed that the finance worker, described at an inquest as a ‘worrier’, would not have wanted to burden other people with her difficulties.
The only person she opened up to about her personal feelings was work colleague Katie Cave, the court heard.
She urged Miss Park, of Granville Street, Harle Syke, Burnley, to seek medical help, or counselling, after she had talked about ending her own life.
But the inquest was told that her body was found hanging in woodland by a dog walker near her home in January shortly after.
Miss Park’s mother Catherine, of Rosehill Road, Burnley, said that her daughter had slashed her own wrists, aged 16, and been referred to the Lamont Unit at Burnley General Hospital for assessment.
She was prescribed anti-depressants, which she took for around 20 months, the inquest was told.
But Miss Park appeared to make a recovery and successfully passed A levels, aged 18, and later went to work for Homeloan Management Ltd at Shuttleworth Mead, near Padiham.
Mrs Park, describing her daughter’s demeanour before her death, added: “There was no reason to think she wasn’t well. She seemed like her normal self.”
Housemate Samantha Carter said she knew the deceased had begun to take depression medication again, in the weeks before her death.
Miss Carter added: “She didn’t say how bad she felt. She was probably worried about how I would take it, and worried about upsetting other people.
“She wanted to try and deal with it herself I think.”
Workmate Katie Cave said her friend had expressed suicidal thoughts but said she had never followed them through, for different reasons, mentioning how her brother had recently been going through exams as an example.
Miss Cave said: “I just kept telling her that she knew where I was and I was always ringing and texting her. I made sure she kept talking about it.”
The inquest heard that the day before her death, the deceased had texted an ‘upbeat’ message to Miss Cave.
But the court heard that concerns emerged, the following day, when Miss Park had not arrived for work.
Recording a suicide verdict, East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said: “Sadly you can never get into the head of someone you love and get an explanation of exactly how they actually feel.
“In this case Catherine clearly had significant difficulties, with which she was not coping.”