Mother of two is found dead two days after sending an email to assisted dying clinic Dignitas, court hears
A mother of two sent an email to the assisted dying clinic Dignitas two days before she was found dead, saying, “I want to die,” an inquest has heard.
Hannah Jean Elizabeth Martin, 25, died at her home in Bilsborrow, between Preston and Garstang, Lancashire, in January 2019.
During an inquest yesterday at Accrington Town Hall, Ms Martin’s family described how she had suffered from mental health problems since she was 13.
Her mother, Louise Whelan, said she “lit up the room when she walked in and was the life and soul of the party.”
Mrs. Whelan continued: “But at times she just couldn’t handle things and we were used to crowding around her and trying to make things better.”
The inquest found that on January 19, two days before she was found dead, Ms Martin had sent an email to Switzerland-based Dignitas in which she wrote: ‘I want to die. I don’t want this life that was given to me.’
Hannah Jean Elizabeth Martin (pictured above), 25, was found dead in January 2019 at her home in Bilsborrow, between Preston and Garstang, Lancashire.
When Hannah was 15 she was hospitalized after taking an overdose and before her daughter was born in March 2011, she traveled to Germany to track down her father but found “no trace of him,” Ms Whelan said. .
After working in a number of shops, including Littlewoods and Greggs, she landed a job as a prison guard at HMP Liverpool in 2018.
“I was so proud of her,” Mrs. Whelan said.
Martin began seeing a fellow prison guard, but the relationship ended in December 2018 due to his “highly manipulative personality,” the inquest learned.
Her friend Rachel described how the two women, who met at school, usually saw each other “most days” but that their contact dwindled in 2018 because her boyfriend “had a problem with our friendship.”
Rachel said, “It was a toxic relationship. When they broke up, I think because she worked with him and invested so much in the relationship, it wasn’t easy for her to shake it off. She wasn’t herself.
“We used to go on little trips together, like sleeping to Sainsbury’s, but around that time I remember asking her if she wanted to come with me to pick up a pram and she said, ‘No, I “I’m in bed, I’m tired.”
‘We used to go Christmas shopping together, but that year (2018) there was nothing.’
On January 14, 2019, eight days before Ms Martin was found dead, her mother accompanied her to an appointment with her primary care physician John Miles.
Ms. Martin had taken some notes with her, a copy of which was read during the inquest, in which she had written details about her mental state and previous treatments.
The investigation revealed that on January 19, two days before she was found dead, Ms Martin had sent an email to the Switzerland-based Dignitas clinic (building pictured above) in which she wrote: ‘I want to die. I don’t want this life I got’
Ms Whelan told the inquest: ‘She said she hadn’t been honest before (to him), but she would be now.
“She wanted to express how she felt and seek help.”
Dr Miles was so concerned about what Hannah told him, including that she had considered ‘taking a flight’ and running away, that he called the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust mental health crisis team during the consultation.
Not long after Hannah left the GP practice in Garstang, she received a call from psychiatric nurse Cath Lupton who was conducting a telephone assessment.
Ms Lupton told the inquest that she would have considered Hannah to be of ‘average’ risk, but noted that she had protective factors, such as her two children, so chose to book her in for a face-to-face appointment, the earliest of which was available on January 31.
The coroner noted that this 17-day interruption was a “longer than average” wait for a non-emergency referral to the service, which is typically 10 days.
Hannah’s friend Rachel said she later told her that the call was “s***.”
During an inquest yesterday at Accrington Town Hall (file photo above), Ms Martin’s family described how she had suffered from mental health issues since she was 13
Rachel said: ‘She told me the crisis team didn’t care and they couldn’t give her an appointment until January 31st [Hannah said] wasn’t fast enough and she felt like it had been an eternity.’
Seven days after Hannah saw her GP, on January 21, Rachel went to pick up her own children from school – the same one attended by Mrs. Martin’s daughter, who was standing with the teacher.
Rachel told the inquest: “Something wasn’t quite right. I tried to call her, on her mobile and landline, but there was no answer.’
She went to Hannah’s house, where she met Daniel Walton, the father of one of Hannah’s children. Mr. Walton smashed a window to gain access to the house where they found Hannah dead.
Hannah’s brother Ben told the coroner that after his sister’s death, he searched her internet search history, emails and diary entries.
In the weeks before her death, Hannah had tried to research suicide methods.
The coroner asked Mr. Martin, “The impression you got was that Hannah was considering suicide, but she didn’t want any pain?”
“Yes,” he replied.
The investigation is expected to be completed on Friday.
For confidential support, call the Samaritans at 116123, or go to: www.samaritans.org