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Police probed after Isabella Goddard, 22, found dead in bath in Canterbury

ByLydia Chantler-Hicks

The father of a young woman found dead in a bathtub has told how he alerted police because he feared for her safety.

Worried Peter Goddard had called 999 to raise concerns for the welfare of 22-year-old Isabella, from Canterbury, on April 13 this year.

Isabella Goddard sadly died in Canterbury in April. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook
Isabella Goddard sadly died in Canterbury in April. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook

But when officers arrived at her home in St Edmunds Road, they found her dead in the bath.

The cause of her death was revealed to have been “submersion under water due to intoxication” at an inquest opening in July.

How police responded to her father’s call is now set to be examined by a jury when the hearing continues.

A pre-inquest review held yesterday was told Miss Goddard lived in the city, but for a period before her death had been staying elsewhere.

With the approval of a psychiatrist and psychologist, she returned to the city on April 12 this year.

A full inquest into Miss Goddard's death is expected to take place in the new year. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook
A full inquest into Miss Goddard's death is expected to take place in the new year. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook

The following day a call was made to police by Mr Goddard, expressing concern for his daughter, who had an anti-depressant and a painkiller in her system when she died.

The length of time between the call being made and officers attending Miss Goddard’s home was not revealed at the hearing.

Her father, who lives in the Cayman Islands, appeared at the inquest at Maidstone’s Archbishop’s Palace by video link.

“We’d allowed her to come back [to Canterbury] on the satisfaction of her psychologist and psychiatrist,” he explained.

“We considered that she was safe to be left on her own.

Isabella Goddard, who died earlier this year aged 22. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook
Isabella Goddard, who died earlier this year aged 22. Pic: Isabella Goddard/Facebook

“Unfortunately, within a day of her arrival, she was dead.

“We’d very much like to know why it would have been the case that her mental state should change so much.”

The review was told Miss Goddard’s mobile phone records will be retrieved and form part of the evidence when a full inquest takes place.

Details of a late-night call made to a “Mr Wilson” sometime before her death are expected to be made public at the hearing, as well as a redacted copy of the police report.

A statement is also expected to be made by the person who handled Mr Goddard’s call to police, as well as from a police spokesman about the way in which calls to the emergency services are graded for priority.

St Edmunds Road in Canterbury (18863203)
St Edmunds Road in Canterbury (18863203)

The hearing is likely to last five days and take the form of an Article 2 inquest, which typically examine whether authorities “knew, or ought to have known, of a real and immediate risk to the life of an individual” and if they “failed to take measures which could have avoided that risk”.

Miss Goddard’s death was referred by Kent Police to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

It concluded the case was suitable for an internal investigation by the county’s force.

Det Ch Insp Keith Roberts from the Professional Standards Department at Kent Police said: "An internal review was carried out, the findings of which have been sent to the IOPC to be assessed.

"Until the matter has been concluded, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

If you need help on an emotional issue you can call the Samaritans free, at any time, on 116 123.

For more information on why we cover inquests, click here.

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