South Wales Evening Post

Woman found unresponsi­ve at mother’s home

- MOLLY DOWRICK Reporter molly.dowrick@walesonlin­

A WOMAN who survived being strangled by her abusive fiancé and left for dead at a beauty spot died after being found unresponsi­ve at her mother’s home aged 40, an inquest heard.

Stacey Gwilliam, from Swansea, had struggled to move on from her awful ordeal and died of a combinatio­n of pneumonia and the effects of taking prescribed medication and non-prescribed drugs, the hearing was told.

Ms Gwilliam, from Townhill, was physically and mentally scarred after being attacked by her ex-partner in 2015 and lived with anxiety, depression, and fear following the incident.

She also had a wide range of physical health problems.

Last year Ms Gwilliam complained to her GP and her family that she was struggling to breathe.

A day later she was found unresponsi­ve at her mother’s house and, despite the best efforts of police officers who attended the property and medics at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Ms Gwilliam was pronounced dead.

As a child Ms Gwilliam was “wellliked” by her friends and peers and she enjoyed school, the inquest at Swansea Guildhall heard yesterday.

But as a teenager she entered a relationsh­ip which soon turned abusive and also experience­d further abuse in later relationsh­ips, the inquest was told.

Ms Gwilliam’s ex-fiancé Keith Hughes is currently serving life in prison for attacking Ms Gwilliam by strangling her and burying her alive near Bracelet Bay in Gower in 2015.

The inquest heard that over the course of Ms Gwilliam and Hughes’ long-term relationsh­ip Ms Gwilliam was abused by Hughes on several occasions and was also raped by him and imprisoned in his home. On one occasion Ms Gwilliam was forced to jump out of a first-floor window to get away from Hughes when he locked her in his property.

Ms Gwilliam also faced a catalogue of health problems in her adult life.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013 and had to have an operation and she also regularly complained of issues breathing ever since she was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child, the inquest heard.

Ms Gwilliam and Hughes’ relationsh­ip first ended in 2013 after Hughes was jailed for three years and nine months for three assaults on Ms Gwilliam and one count of false imprisonme­nt.

But Ms Gwilliam wrote to Hughes in prison and the couple soon got back together. When Hughes was released in July 2015 Ms Gwilliam agreed to marry him. But the relationsh­ip turned turned sour again ending with Hughes attacking her.

By 2020 Ms Gwilliam had entered into a new relationsh­ip but this also soon turned sour. Over the course of 2021 Ms Gwilliam struggled with her asthma, a chest infection, and multiple organ failures.

She also experience­d mental health issues including depression and anxiety disorder with panic attacks and took prescribed medication as well as drugs she ordered online. She also took anti-sickness tablets to help her manage her physical symptoms but it was said these “made her worse”.

In November 2021 Ms Gwilliam’s sister found her sibling “unresponsi­ve in the middle of the bed” at their mother’s home in Townhill and immediatel­y called 999. Police attended and took Ms Gwilliam to Morriston Hospital.

PC Thomas Paul Evans of South Wales Police told the inquest attending officers found no evidence of any suspicious circumstan­ces and no evidence to suggest Ms Gwilliam had tried to take her own life.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff Ms Gwilliam died in hospital on November 27, 2021.

The inquest heard that the medical cause of death given by the toxicologi­st was bronchial pneumonia and combined drug toxicity. Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips accepted this cause of death and remarked that what he had heard during the inquest was a “terribly sad account”.

He expressed his heartfelt condolence­s to the family of Ms Gwilliam and recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

 ?? WALES NEWS SERVICE ?? Stacey Gwilliam

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