Mum’s death was suicide — (Redditch and Alcester Advertiser)

SSRI Ed note: Woman who cares for severaly disabled son has love-life trouble, given citalopram, kills her son, hangs herself.

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Redditch and Alcester Advertiser

9:53am Friday 19th December 2008

A VERDICT of suicide has been recorded at the inquest of Heather Wardle, the mother of a disabled man who was found dead in a suitcase at their home.

Heather Wardle, 39, was found last April with a dressing gown cord around her neck in undergrowth near her home in Loxley Close, Church Hill, days after she, along with her son, James Hughes, 21, were reported missing to police by family members.

At Worcestershire Coroner’s Court, deputy coroner Margaret Barnard said: “This is a tragic loss of a young devoted mother who spent the majority of her early 20s and the remainder of her life caring for her disabled son.”

Speaking to Ms Wardle’s partner of 16 years, Brian Kirby, Mrs Barnard added: “Life started to fall apart around her.

“She appeared happy and chipper to the outside world but she struggled to cope.”

The court was told that Ms Wardle, whose son had the mental age of an 18-month-old, had been under a lot of stress.

She was having relationship problems with Mr Kirby after he told her he had feelings for another woman and Ms Wardle had been prescribed the anti-depressant drug citalopram.

Forensic reports found high levels of that drug along with paracetamol and opiates in her blood stream, but these did not contribute to her death.