Tragedy af­ter woman’s 3am call for help

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY - KAREN BRIT­TON

AWOMAN was found hanged af­ter leav­ing a mes­sage of dis­tress on her sup­port work­ers’ an­swer ma­chine in the mid­dle of the night.

Lynn Whit­taker, 42, who lived in shel­tered ac­com­mo­da­tion at Ivy House, Mac­cles­field, had been di­ag­nosed with emo­tion­ally un­sta­ble per­son­al­ity dis­or­der, a coroners court at Mac­cles­field Town Hall heard.

She was un­der the care of staff at the Jocelyn Solly Re­source Cen­tre when she called them at 3am to say she was plan­ning to take her own life.

But trag­i­cally the mes­sage was not picked up un­til the fol­low­ing morn­ing when staff ar­rived to work and her body was dis­cov­ered along­side a sui­cide note.

The court heard that Ms Whit­taker, who is de­scribed as ‘in­tel­li­gent and ar­tic­u­late’, dis­puted her di­ag­no­sis and be­came un­co­op­er­a­tive with men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als.

A few days be­fore her death she was sec­tioned at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal and while her be­hav­iour was ‘hos­tile’ she told staff she did not feel sui­ci­dal and was dis­charged.

The next evening a fel­low res­i­dent at Ivy House said she seemed nor­mal when she went into the com­mu­nal lounge.

But hours later, at around 3am, she left the mes­sage on the an­swer ma­chine of her com­mu­nity care team say­ing she was go­ing to kill her­self.

The staff - who dis­cov­ered the mes­sage at the start of their shift the next day - in­formed the po­lice.

Speak­ing at the in­quest, PC Adam Morse said: “At 9.29am I re­ceived a con­cern for wel­fare call af­ter Lynn had made a call early in the morn­ing to the Jocelyn Solly cen­tre. I and another of­fi­cer went to the ad­dress and knocked on the door but there was no an­swer. The door was un­locked so we went in and I saw an A4 piece of pa­per on the floor left by Lynn, it was a sui­cide note.”

Ms Whit­taker’s sis­ter Lorraine Rus­coe told the coro­ner that she had a bro­ken child­hood. She said: “She was very help­ful to me and to other peo­ple. She had health prob­lems over the years but the last time I saw her she was her nor­mal self and I didn’t ex­pect this to hap­pen.”

A re­port af­ter her death found no fail­ures in her care which could have pre­vented her death.

Coro­ner Janet Napier said: “She was a very trou­bled woman but was very in­tel­li­gent and ar­tic­u­late so this was even more up­set­ting. She was known to two care co­or­di­na­tors and had been seen by Richard Bar­low in the lounge and seemed to be ok, but ob­vi­ously things seemed to have changed and we’ve heard about the phone call and let­ter.

“She took her own life when the bal­ance of her mind was dis­turbed. She had great po­ten­tial and was af­fected by what hap­pened in her youth.”

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