Original article no longer available
The Sidmouth Herald
06 July 2007
Miss Scarterfield of Waterleat, Newton Poppleford disappeared on November 14, 2006, and in December and January body parts including her foot washed up on Chesil Beach, Dorset.
DNA tests showed these matched samples taken from a toothbrush and hairbrush found in her flat above her business.
Miss Scarterfield had a history of depression and had been prescribed the anti-depressant Seroxat.
The inquest heard her depression had deepened after she lost £5,000 to £6,000 in trade during roadworks outside her business.
Angela Crawford, a lifelong friend who described her relationship with Miss Scarterfield as ‘closer than with my own sister’ suggested the drug Seroxat may have played a role in her friend’s death.
However, Darren Salter, deputy coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon, said he was not convinced the drug had contributed to Miss Scarterfield’s death.
Mrs Crawford said she had spoken to Miss Scarterfield the night before her disappearance and that she had said she enjoyed a good day walking on the beach and that she seemed to be over the worst.
The next morning concerns were raised when Miss Scarterfield did not arrive to open up her tea room business in the morning.
Mrs Crawford called mutual friend and part-time cleaner Marion Mason, and asked her to check Miss Scarterfield’s flat.
It was here a multicoloured notebook was found containing a suicide note.
Police were called and an officer found Miss Scarterfield’s Proton Jumbuck car, looking as if it had been abandoned, in Lime Kiln car park in Budleigh Salterton with the door unlocked and the keys still in the ignition.
Police said there were force seven winds from the South West and even the best swimmer would struggle to survive longer than 10 minutes.
The deputy coroner stated the cause of death was drowning in the sea at or near Budleigh Salterton and he recorded a verdict of suicide.
He added: “Ann Scarterfield took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed.
Miss Scarterfield had a history of depression and had been prescribed the anti-depressant Seroxat [Paxil].