"He said she sometimes forgot to take her medication and at other times did not want to, as she felt it stopped her having good ideas."
Princes Risborough woman took her own life after history of depression
4:22pm Tuesday 19th October 2010
A 47-YEAR-old woman who suffered with depression committed suicide and was found by police at her home in Summerleys Road, Princes Risborough.
Dorothy Wright who lived with her partner, Alan Wilkinson, died from carbon monoxide poisoning and was found in her car in the garage, an inquest heard today.
Mr Wilkinson, who works at Pinewood Studios, told the inquest: “Dorothy had a history of depression that was being treated by her GP.”
He said she sometimes forgot to take her medication and at other times did not want to, as she felt it stopped her having good ideas.
She had an interview for a new job the next Wednesday, as she had become fed up with her current job at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He said she had spoken about taking her own life in the past which was a “worry to him.”
On the day she died, April 19, Mr Wilkinson left the house at 8.30am to go to work and would not return until midnight as there was a recording in the evening.
On April 19 she had phoned her friend Sean Wallis at 4.30pm and again 10 minutes later to say she was going to take her own life and she was putting the car in the garage.
As Mr Wallis' mobile phone was broken he did not have her number and emailed his friend and colleague, Geoffrey Williams, to ask him to get in touch. Mr Williams spoke to Ms Wright, who said she was at home in the garden and seemed cross Mr Wallis had got in touch with him.
At 5.45pm she called Mr Wallis, who works at University College London, to say it was taking a long time and he heard some coughing.
Coroner Richard Hulett said in his summary she was a lady prone to mood swings moving from one state of mind to another. He said she could “sometimes say things about self harm which weren't really meant” which means “sometimes, people don't take notice, which with hindsight of course, feel very differently about.”
Mr Wallis called his partner so she could phone the police, as the university phone system kept putting him through to security.
At 7.58pm the call from Sean's partner was made to the Metropolitan police which was then put through to Thames Valley Police at 8.08pm. Police attended the scene around 8.30pm, and after carrying out checks saw no reason to break into the property.
There were no fumes present outside the building and they could hear no noise from anywhere inside the house or garage.
At 10pm the key holder arrived which is when they found Ms Wright. The house was full of fumes. The ignition light on the car was on but it was not running.
Mr Hulett added: “So far as timing is concerned this did attract attention from the IPCC professional standards intervention. People wondered should more urgent action been taken.
“Looking at the evidence I am quite clear in my mind it couldn't have made any difference. I think it is clear Dorothy Wright was in that motorcar at quarter to six. She made a reference to this taking a long time. I don't think she could've been there a long time. I think she would have been overcome completely.”
He added: “She was deceased long long before any contact was made with the police.”
He recorded a verdict she took her own life.