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Suicide verdict at inquest for Vanessa Robinson, of Camden, London, after being found dead in Walmer

A woman took her own life after a long period of mental illness, a coroner concluded.

Londoner Vanessa Robinson died at her ex-partner's home in Walmer, an inquest heard yesterday.

The Archbishops Palace. Picture: Andy Jones.
The Archbishops Palace. Picture: Andy Jones.

Ms Robinson was found dead by Peter Dennis at his attic room in Admiralty Mews on the morning of Sunday, March 24, this year.

A post mortem examination found that she died from both suffocation and a morphine overdose.

Assistant coroner Catherine Wood said: "I am satisfied that Vanessa took her own life.

"I have seen from the evidence that there was significant planning.

"We don't know where she got the drugs but she planned to make it look as if she was still asleep and frequently talked about suicide."

Mr Dennis explained that he and Ms Robinson had been in a relationship until Christmas but were still friends when she died.

She was visiting him that weekend and they went out on the Saturday evening and slept in separate rooms that night .

Mr Dennis said that when he called on her room next morning he found that she was dead.

He told the inquests: "She was obviously deceased, I didn't have to check.

"There must have been some planning, she chose a place where she would be warm and comfortable."

Mr Dennis straight away dialled 999.

He told the inquest, at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone, that he was also convinced that Ms Robinson had taken her own life.

Vanessa Robinson, 49, a teacher from Camden Town, had been diagnosed with both severe personality disorder and bipolar.

She was being seen by doctors from her own health authority, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

The inquest heard that Ms Robinson had frequently talked about suicide but said she was afraid to physically carry it out.

After her death the trust had an internal investigation with the team including medical psychotherapist Dr Thomas Hillen.

He told the inquest that one recommendation from the inquiry was that that protocol for managing such patients needed more clarity.

A key worker was considered a help for Ms Robinson but one was not provided.

Dr Hillen said there had been difficulties with staff shortages at the time Ms Robinson was cared for, because of recruitment problems.

But , he said, there was now a full complement staff.

Dr Hillen said he still didn't think Ms Robinson's death could have been predicted.

Ms Robinson was prescribed new medication but turned it down, saying she had tried several other types but they had not worked.

Her condition was not at the level where treatment was allowed to be forced on her under the Mental Health Act.

Kent Police had investigated the death and also concluded that this was suicide.

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