Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southern Health: Mother killed herself year after son's suicide

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Media captionThe inquest heard Karin Cheshire "could not cope" after her son Jay Cheshire killed himself

A grieving mother killed herself days after the first anniversary of her son's suicide, an inquest has heard.

Karin Cheshire was found hanged after the troubled Southern Health NHS Trust failed to identify her as at risk.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard she "could no longer cope" after her son Jay died in Riverside Park, Southampton following a rape allegation last year.

Coroner Grahame Short said the trust "failed to understand the significance" of the anniversary.

Southern Health NHS Trust was criticised for failing Ms Cheshire, 55, after she was hospitalised on five separate occasions over a six-month period.

The inquest heard how, after being discharged from hospital, Ms Cheshire was not seen by the Southern Health team for two months and she had become "disengaged." She was found dead at the family home in Bitterne Park, Southampton, on 18 July.

The trust has been under intense scrutiny since an NHS England-commissioned report in December found it failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of hundreds of patients.

Same rope

A representative from Southern Health apologised for failing Ms Cheshire after the court heard she had described herself as "helpless, struggling and raw".

Ms Cheshire's daughter Camellia, 22, said the rape allegation was the "catalyst" for losing her mum and brother in the space of a year.

A police statement said the alleged victim "would not support a prosecution" and the investigation was discontinued due to the evidence available.

In September 2015, the inquest into Jay's death heard the police investigation had a "profound affect" on his mental wellbeing.

Mr Short said: "It's clear Karin believed she couldn't continue with her life and cope with the pressures she found herself having to live with after the devastating loss of her son."

Ms Cheshire used the same piece of rope her son had used to take his life to hang herself after it was returned to her by police, according to her daughter, Camellia.

She said: "That's something that's going to stick with me for the rest of my life that they both took their lives in such an extreme manner."

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