Decision to drop abuse case ‘led to woman’s death’

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A WOMAN killed herself after being told over the phone by police that they were not going to follow up her allegation of child abuse, an inquest heard.

At an inquest into the death of Isabella Gore, the coroner’s court was told that she had made an accusation that she was abused when she was a child.

On the day she died, the 45-year-old mother of two had been told that the case was being dropped. She then took an overdose and killed herself.

The court heard how her husband Andy had returned home to find a note stating that she had a bad day and had gone to bed. There was also a note written in red on a letter, which read ‘received after overdose’.

When her husband got into bed and took her hand she felt warm but did not respond. He tried to give her the kiss of life to save her.

A report was read out from her doctor which confirmed that Mrs Gore had been suffering from depression, that she had been to counselling and had had suicidal thoughts.

A toxicology report confirmed she had taken paracetamol and other drugs.

Mr Gore wept as the report was read out in court.

PC Danielle Ruzewicz, from Hampshire Constabulary, said police were called to the home in Southampton Road, Titchfield, between 10.30pm and 11pm on November 8, last year.

She said that earlier that day, Mrs Gore had received a phone call from Greater Manchester Police stating they would not take further action on the child abuse allegations. She had made a complaint that she had been abused up to the age of 16.

Det Supt Jon Chadwick, of GMP’s Public Protection Division, said: ‘We are aware of the comments made during the inquest into the death of Isabella Gore.

‘We are now carrying out an extensive search of our records and will be examining the full inquest documents to establish categorically what involvement GMP has had with this tragic case.’

Mr Gore said the situation was not dealt with properly. The 46-year-old said: ‘The way my wife was so distressed, it doesn’t sound like they handled it very well. How do you tell someone an investigation is not going to happen?

‘There are thousands and thousands of victims of child abuse. If the Jimmy Savile investigation can go back 30 years why couldn’t they bring her abuser in for questioning?’

Child abuse lawyer David Greenwood from Switalskis said that authorities have to be careful when breaking news such as this to the victims of abuse.

He added: ‘Mrs Gore’s death is not surprising but it shouldn’t have been allowed to happen.

‘Officers should be trained to make sure they are aware when they are dealing with a vulnerable person.

‘Whenever they discuss the abuse they are likely to have two or three days of real turmoil. Mrs Gore would have been no exception. It is unforgivable to break news like this over the phone.

‘Each time the issue is discussed, painful memories are awakened.

‘The victim is vulnerable and vulnerable to that type of suffering and could turn to destructive coping strategies.’

Coroner David Horsley ruled Mrs Gore took her life while suffering from severe long-term depression.

‘The evidence is overwhelming and poor Mrs Gore has ended her life,’ he said. ‘No-one else was involved. It was her own decision and she left a note. She has taken her own life but I want to recognise that she has suffered from depression for a long time. It was an illness and a dreadful one.’