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The Daily Mail
By James Tozer for the Daily Mail
Published: 21:50 GMT, 24 August 2015 | Updated: 16:58 GMT, 26 August 2015
Sarah Johnson lived in a £12.5million house in an exclusive London square
But 36-year-old turned to drink earlier this year after ‘personal problems’
She jumped in front of a tube train at London’s Victoria station in April
Inquest heard her suicide note spoke of ‘wonderful’ husband and children
A millionaire lawyer who killed herself was tortured by the guilt that she was not a good enough mother to her three young children.
Sarah Johnson lived in a £12.5 million house in an exclusive London square with her banker husband and appeared to have an enviably happy home life, an inquest heard.
But the 36-year-old turned to drink earlier this year after ‘personal problems’, telling her GP she had ‘ruined her happy life’.
After being admitted to mental health hospital The Priory, she jumped in front of a tube train at London’s Victoria station in April. An inquest heard that her suicide note spoke of ‘her wonderful husband and her three beautiful children who she adored’ but that she felt her ‘respect, self-esteem and dignity [had] all gone now’.
Drank heavily: Sarah Johnson, 36, thought she had ruined her life, an inquest into her death heard
Concluding she had committed suicide, Westminster coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: ‘She suffered from guilt. She felt she hadn’t been a good enough mother and I think that guilt was considerable for her.’
Mrs Johnson lived with her husband David, 37, in a five-storey house in an exclusive Belgravia square. The youngest of their children had just turned three.
The lawyer – whose father Graham Parr is a prominent Lancashire businessman who once helped buy out the Pontin’s holiday camp chain – was apparently healthy, financially stable and appeared to have a happy family home, last week’s hearing was told.
But she had started drinking heavily in January, often having the first glass as early as 11am, and then vodka as well as beer in the evenings. On occasions, the inquest heard, she would drink until she blacked out.
In a statement, her GP Dr Victoria Muir said Mrs Johnson felt she had ‘ruined her happy life’ and was prescribed anti-depressants.
She was admitted twice to The Priory for treatment, the last period in April. Psychiatrist Dr Neil Brener said: ‘Her problems revolved around personal affairs in her family and she was using alcohol to numb her feelings. Her main thought was that she had let everyone down and how she had messed everything up for her husband and children.’
On the day of her planned discharge she was ‘chatty’ and her mindset had improved, he added. But she failed to turn up at follow-up appointments and on April 26 she vanished, later returning home disheveled.
The next morning, her husband David woke to find she was gone and had left a note.
She had traveled to Victoria at about 5.30 am and wandered around before jumping in front of a southbound train 50 minutes later.