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8:00am Tuesday 25th October 2011
By David Lindsell
A mother who died after plummeting from the top floor of a shopping centre committed suicide, a coroner has found.
Mum-of-two Alexis Sims, 45, died inside the Bentall Centre, in Kingston, on January 17 this year, after climbing over the steps and jumping.
Coroner Alison Thompson delivered her verdict at West London Coroner’s Court after reading evidence and statements from witnesses.
Hundreds of people were shopping when she jumped and many on the basement floor were traumatised by her death. The centre was evacuated and closed while police investigated.
Mrs Sims’ husband, Sky News presenter Graeme Winch, of Somerset Road, Teddington, and her family opted not to attend the inquest on September 15.
The osteopath, who worked above Nail Generation in Broad Street, Teddington, had suffered from depression for many years and was receiving medication and psychotherapy, the inquest heard.
Her husband has since raised more than £10,000 for Depression Alliance, saying on his Just Giving site: “If depression could get hold of Alexis I feel it could get hold of anyone.”
More than 500 people attended her funeral.
If you are affected by the issues in this story, you can speak to Samaritans on 0845 7909090, or visit the Kingston branch in Andrews Road, Surbiton.