Original article no longer available
July 27, 2006
A SOLICITOR from Bishop’s Stortford suffering from clinical depression and the pressures of work was found hanged in her garden, an inquest heard.
Mum-of-three Linda Bonich, a partner at Pothecary and Barratt in the town, was found slumped in her pyjamas at the base of a tree at home in Hadham Road in November. A blue rope was tied around her neck.
The 50-year-old had been taking medication for depression and had told her GP just two days before her death that she felt in a “dreadful state” and was unable to concentrate.
A hearing at Hatfield on Tuesday, which was attended by Mrs Bonich’s husband, Lorens, heard that she was struggling to cope at work and felt under pressure because of mistakes she had made due to her lack of concentration.
Mrs Bonich, who joined the firm in White Horse Court in 1987, was responsible for residential sales and purchases.
In a submitted statement, her colleague and fellow partner Angela Lever described Mrs Bonich as a “friendly, outgoing and sociable” woman, although she said she had noticed a change in her in the months leading up to her death.
Despite being reassured that the firm had no concerns about her work, she had become quiet and withdrawn and appeared unhappy and distant, she added.
Recording an open verdict, coroner Edward Thomas said he could not be certain Mrs Bonich, who leaves three teenage children, Edmund, Gabrielle and Nicola, had intended to take her own life as no suicide note had been found and she had no history of suicidal thoughts.
He said she was clearly a “very responsible person” and her worries over her work would have been exacerbated by her state of mind.
“She was obviously a very popular lady who was well thought of in every way,” he said.
“Her death is an awful tragedy and I feel very sorry for what her family, and colleagues, have been through.”
When approached by the Observer afterwards, Mr Bonich said he was too upset to speak.