‘She just wanted to be a mum…’ – Tragedy of carer Steph, 34, who was battling demons of postnatal depression when she plunged to her death off A50 bridge — (The Stoke Sentinal)

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The Stoke Sentinal

Stephanie Housley had enjoyed a meal just hours earlier

Mum-of-one Stephanie Housley had been diagnosed with postnatal depression just months before jumping to her death from a bridge over the A50.

The 34-year-old, of Hurst Street, Longton, was pronounced dead on the stretch between Meir and Meir Park on March 11.

An inquest heard Stephanie had given birth to her first daughter in March 2018 and been diagnosed with postnatal depression three months later as her daughter suffered with colic.

But her family saw no warning signs that she was planning to take her own life.

She had been out for lunch with a relative and her daughter at the Weathervane pub, in Meir Park, on the day of her death.

In a statement read out at yesterday’s inquest, Stephanie’s partner James Walton said: “I’ve been in a relationship with Steph for 18 months.

“We found out we were having a baby together, moved in together, and were so happy.

“Following the birth of our daughter, Steph suffered with postnatal depression. Our daughter was having stomach problems and we discovered she had a dairy intolerance.

“It was a hard time for both of us, especially waking up every two hours, we didn’t know what was wrong. Steph was admitted to a parent and baby unit to receive some support. It started to become easier and Steph went back to work as a carer at UK Care Management.

“She loved caring for people, although she did not enjoy the long hours. It restricted time with her daughter as she did 12-hour shifts two days a week.

“This was due to change to three days, that was the only thing playing on Steph’s mind, she just wanted to be a mum.”

The inquest heard Stephanie had attempted to kill herself twice before and her dad committed suicide when she was a child. James last saw her alive at 7am on March 11 when he made her a cup of tea and took their baby into her.

Stephanie and the relative shared three bottles of wine during their meal at the Weathervane. They then walked to Tesco, at Meir Park, before the relative took Stephanie’s daughter home.

A dog-walker saw Stephanie sitting cross-legged on the bridge at 6.41pm on March 11.

She said: “She turned to me and smiled. She looked very well presented and did not look upset. So I carried on walking my dog. I looked back but carried on walking down and I called 101 and then 999 to raise concerns.”

But the inquest heard Stephanie fell to her death before the police could arrive.

The dog-walker added: “I didn’t have time to go over.”

“I hope her family and friends go away knowing there was nothing they could have done to prevent this. She was taking medication and had sought help.

“She was a good mother and had returned to work, doing the best she could for her family.”

Recording a conclusion of suicide, assistant coroner Sarah Murphy said: “I want to stress that having heard the evidence of Mr Walton there was absolutely no way that Mr Walton, or any of her family, could have known that that was her intention.

“We heard she had a lovely time in the afternoon, there was absolutely no indication that that was going through her mind.