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May 15, 2003 01:00
Previously, Annie Miriam Lee of Llys Gwernen, Morriston, Swansea, had drunk a bottle of weedkiller then thrown herself into the city’s Marina. On another occasion she turned up soaking wet at the reception area of Swansea’s Marriott Hotel after an unsuccessful attempt to kill herself by walking into the sea.
Swansea and Gower Coroner Richard Morgan recorded an open verdict on 82-year-old widow Mrs Lee yesterday. He was told her body was spotted in the River Tawe at a point near Plasmarl.
A pathologist confirmed the cause of death was drowning and could find no significant injuries on the body.
Days earlier, Mrs Lee has telephoned her daughter Jean to tell her she had “found a nice spot” at Swansea Canal. Mrs Lee’s daughter visited her mother regularly in the months before her death knowing her mother’s mental state was deteriorating.
When police broke the news to her that her mother’s body had been found she said she was not surprised she had been found in water because her depressed mother had been “desperate to die”.
The inquest heard that before her death, Skewen-born Mrs Lee told members of her family that when she was just 10 her mother died and her father moved London where he re-married. She said she was treated “like a slave” by her stepmother and was deeply unhappy.
The inquest was told this had an effect on Mrs Lee for the rest of her life. Although she found happiness in moving back to South Wales with her second husband Philip, she suffered a nervous breakdown in 1950 and took medication for the rest of her life.
She was pronounced dead on January 31 this year.