Depressed woman’s body lay undiscovered for weeks

Flax Bourton Coroners' Court

Flax Bourton Coroners' Court - Credit: Archant

A WESTON woman, who lived on a diet of sweets and biscuits, was found in her home by police, several months after her death.

Assistant deputy coroner Peter Harrowing told Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court Amanda Brian had died from hypothermia.

The unemployed 51-year-old of Linden Avenue was identified by her personal jewellery.

Mr Harrowing said: “Her death was confirmed at her home on August 16 at 1pm.

“She was last seen in May by doctors, where she declined all medical attention.

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“Her body had lain undiscovered for several weeks or months. Her temperature at the time of death had clearly been low, and there were no injuries.”

Mr Harrowing said a post-mortem examination was carried out on August 28 but this had been limited as her body had already begun to decompose.

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However, while her stomach lining showed evidence of hypothermia, the exact cause was not determined because of the condition of her body.

A statement from her sister Sharon Andrews was also read out, which said Ms Brian was ‘painfully thin’ when she last saw her before Easter.

She said: “She suffered from depression and appeared very low. She was painfully thin and her diet was sweets and biscuits.

“I attempted to get her to see a doctor but she did not want to do so.

“When we did not hear from her, despite telephone calls and letters, the police were contacted and they attempted to break into her home.”

The court was told Ms Brian’s GP had tried to get her referred to a medical health team, but she did not want to co-operate.

Mrs Andrews said: “I believe my sister became overwhelmed by her problems and simply gave up.”

Mr Harrowing said Ms Brian has a long standing history of anxiety disorder and depression. Although she was prescribed medication there was still an ongoing concern from doctors about her anxiety, self neglect and alcohol use.

The coroner recorded an open conclusion and said the medical cause of death was hypothermia although he was unable to determine the cause.

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