Cumbrian horse-lover killed herself at mum’s stables — (News & Star)

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News & Star

By Jenny Barwise

A horse enthusiast was found hanging in the stables where she used to keep her animals.  An inquest into the death of Jayne Annette Stubbs, known as Annette, was held in Workington yesterday where coroner David Roberts recorded a verdict that she had taken her own life.

The inquest heard that the 48-year-old of Close Street, Carlisle, had been dealing with a lot of stress leading up to her death in August 2011.   Mr Roberts said she had left letters saying goodbye to family members. The contents of these letters were not disclosed at the inquest.

The court heard that Ms Stubbs had been on anti-depressants for 14 years and during 2011 she had had many doctors’ appointments where she received drugs to control her depression. In the early hours of the morning on August 3, 2011, her stepfather Joseph Duff, noticed her car at his farm at Laythes Farm, Kirkbride.

He thought it was peculiar so he went to check in the nearby horse stables and found her hanging from the ceiling, from ropes and halters used for the horses.   Police also found tablets, vodka, knives and a hosepipe in her car and the window had been taped up.

Ms Stubbs had kept horses at her mum and stepfather’s farm for many years, but moved them to an animal refuge six months earlier.   Leading up to her death, her mum, Cynthia Duff, said that her moods had become more erratic and she had become more argumentative.

The day before she died, Ms Stubbs had an argument with her mum about the horses which she had moved to the animal refuge, as Mrs Duff said that the animals weren’t happy.   “She seemed as if she were living on edge all the time in her latter years,” said Mrs Duff.

“She used to come out to the farm and spend hours with the horses [before giving them to the refuge]. She said it was a release.”   Mr and Mrs Duff said that they had no reason to believe that Ms Stubbs was thinking about taking her own life, or anything to indicate she was troubled.

However, Mr Roberts said that the notes she left for her mum and her son Karl Robson, were clearly goodbye letters.

In his summing up, Mr Roberts said: “There are clear notes left saying goodbye and clear evidence of attempts to tape up the car window to attempt carbon monoxide poisoning.

“I’m satisfied she that she went to the farm in the early hours of the morning when she knew she wouldn’t have been found and I’m satisfied it was to end her own life.

“She was clearly very distressed about various things and the argument with her mother was a symptom – not a cause, which reflects the stress.”

He recorded a verdict that Ms Stubbs had taken her own life.