Bride-to-be hanged herself at home before wedding

PUBLISHED: 13:00 31 March 2012


A BRIDE-TO-BE was found hanged by her fiancé at their home just weeks after she went to hospital admitting contemplating suicide.

Catherine Yannakopoulos, aged 29, killed herself after battling multiple sclerosis (MS) and mental health issues, an inquest was told.

Christian Griffin, her partner, tried to revive her after finding her hanged in their bedroom on November 24, 2010.

In a statement read out at Flax Bourton Coroners Court, he said: “I was traumatised, beside myself and didn’t know what to do.”

Catherine, of Gregory Mead in Yatton, was diagnosed with MS in January 2009 and according to her father, Andonis, it did not stop her leading an active lifestyle as she loved to do.

The following year the couple went to South Africa ahead of their wedding in June. It was on her return the family first noticed a change.

Dr Yannakopoulos said: “She began to appear anxious because the wedding turned out to be a lot more complicated than first envisaged.

“There were other things that caused a lot of stress as they were looking for a house in Devon and a job.

“Unfortunately she had all those things to deal with while worrying about the wedding. Unfortunately all this came together at one time.”

The court was told Catherine started to regularly experience pins and needles sensation in her feet which soon spread to her legs.

She went to hospital in the summer and the wedding was postponed to allow her to recover.

But doctors became increasingly concerned about her mental state and prescribed her small doses of anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants.

She became increasingly paranoid and on one occasion visited the police station to ask them why they were after her.

In October she voluntarily went to the Juniper Ward at Weston General Hospital after she admitted buying weedkiller with the intention of killing herself.

Dr Ourania Anagnosti, who treated her during her two-and-a-half-week stay, said the 29-year-old student responded well to treatment and was shocked to hear of her death a month after she was discharged.

Community mental health teams visited Catherine at home on a regular basis and no-one had any concerns she was contemplating suicide again.

The court was told that the former University of Bristol graduate, who trained at Langford Veterinary Services, wrote a CV, started looking for a job and carried out voluntary shifts at St Peter’s Hospice shop in Yatton.

Mr Griffin unsuccessfully tried to call her several times from Howards Honda in Weston, where he worked, on the day she died. He said he was not initially worried until hospice staff told him she had not arrived for work.

He left work early and called for an ambulance when he found her.

Paramedics guided him through resuscitation attempts over the phone but she was pronounced dead on their arrival.

Coroner Maria Voisin said: “Catherine took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed.”

Dr Yannakopoulos raised concerns about the drugs Catherine was prescribed before her death and the potential fatal side effects they could have had.

But Professor Malcolm Lader, a psychiatric expert based at King’s College London, said the chances of them making her suicidal feelings worse, were ‘remote’.

He said: “On the balance of probabilities I would think that MS was the basis of the suicidal feelings, rather than the medication.

“That factor is much further down my list than a serious life-threatening condition of this sort.

“I don’t think anything else could have been done. There was a certain inevitably about this suicide I’m afraid to say.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 17:23

Motorists are facing long delays on the M5 this evening (Sunday) after a crash involving several vehicles.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Villagers in Wedmore have been raising money to twin their toilets and help thousands of people living in poverty around the world.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A school paper which was set up in tribute of Jill Dando has published its first edition.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A cruise ship made a rare appearance off the coast of Weston-super-Mare, when it docked at Steep Holm island.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

An art exhibition dedicated to anti-bullying will take place in Weston-super-Mare later this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

An open day in Worle gave people the chance to have their say on what they would like to see happen and improved where they live.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A kingfisher which suffered a nasty head trauma is set to return to the wild after being treated at a rescue charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

The war memorial in Worle has been refurbished in time for the commemoration of World War One in November.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

A new theatre show will take Weston by storm as Irish river dancers take to the stage.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

A Berrow woman is searching for the family who taught her to walk and talk after she was evacuated to North Somerset in World War Two.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 6°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists