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The Kingston Guardian
7:00am Saturday 20th August 2011
By David Lindsell
A young mother sent texts and Facebook messages to friends saying she would commit suicide before hanging herself a day later.
Sybella Taylor, who aspired to be a human rights lawyer, also called friends and asked them if they wanted to be godparents to her five-year-old daughter Tallulah if she died.
A worried friend spent the early hours watching over the 27-year-old, on Saturday, December 6, last year, and police and an ambulance were called to Saxon House in Athelstan Road, Kingston, in the morning.
But the student killed herself shortly after 7pm in a short gap while another friend, Daniel Howick, left her to collect her daughter from a club at King Athelstan School.
Miss Taylor had been suffering from depression, on medication and had made a suicide attempt before, an inquest into her death at West London Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday, August 16.
Despite a call to a social worker not being returned, suicide notes not being handed to police when they visited and the ambulance not arriving earlier on the day she died, the coroner said the outcome could have been the same.
After the inquest, Miss Taylor’s family paid tribute to a “kind and beautiful” woman who would do anything for her many friends.
In a statement they said: “Her ambition was to become a human rights lawyer and fight for those who could not fight for themselves, but she suffered with severe depression and in the end it was more than she could cope with.”
Her friend Daniel Howick said: “Sybella was beautiful, articulate and a fierce, fierce friend. She had a way of seeing the beauty in others, especially when those people could not see it themselves.”
Police ‘did not know about notes’
Miss Taylor’s fellow college student Kirat Vig took a minicab to her hostel when he saw her suicidal Facebook message.
After an argument the next morning, when he found two suicide notes and she started throwing things at him and hostel manager Jayne Atwood, an ambulance was called and police arrived.
PC Ricardo Romero said Miss Taylor was calm when they left that morning.
But he told the coroner he would have dealt with things differently, perhaps insisting on the ambulance, if he had known about the suicide notes.
A request for an ambulance, which had still not arrived by the time they left, may not have been cancelled, he said.
Coroner Alison Thompson said: “There is the decision to stand down the ambulance, questions of the notes not being known to police and what led to social services not responding to the call made by Miss Atwood, and the question of whether a GP would have taken things further.
“I’m unable to make judgment about them but it is proper to have drawn attention to them. Sadly it is my experience to say that I don’t think we can conclude that anything would have been different in the outcome.”
The verdict was suicide.