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The Swindon Advertiser
10:20am Friday 1st February 2013
A WIDOW who took her own life was found in her home next to an open packet of anti-depressant drugs and a picture of her wedding day. Daphne Strachan, 75, took an overdose at her flat in Lupin Court, Stratton, after failing to make contact with her new partner.
Swindon and Wiltshire coroner David Ridley, reading from a report into the pensioner’s death, said: “Daphne lived alone following the death of her husband in 2003. “She lived in a flat run by Sanctuary Housing, an independent housing scheme. She was in a relationship with another resident and was not seen for about two weeks after a petty argument.
“The lack of contact led her partner to raise the alarm with staff.” Mrs Strachan’s partner David Smith said in a statement read by Mr Ridley at Salisbury Coroner’s Court on Wednesday that they had had a little tiff while he watched football two to three weeks prior to her body being found on August 29 last year.
But the widow also had money worries connected to an investment scheme in Spain her husband had set up before his death. The couple, who lived separately within the complex, saw each other in passing in the following days but had little contact.
Mr Smith raised the alarm with the scheme’s caretaker, who entered her room using a master key and found her body near a handwritten note, a picture of her wedding day and an open pack of amitriptyline. A post-mortem examination found a quantity of the drug in her body and traces of alcohol which put her at just below the drink-drive level. Mr Ridley, who concluded that Mrs Strachan took her own life, told the inquest: “There were no other drugs in her body apart from paracetamol.
“That represents a significant overdose.”
Mr Ridley also referred to the note found in the pensioner’s apartment. He said: “She was found with a note beside her. “It’s not our practice to read that note in public but I very, very much take on board the contents of that note and also she was found in close proximity of a photograph of her husband and herself on her wedding day.”