Mum’s grief over Thailand death of her daughter, 26

Abigail Brown Picture: Family/Solent News & Photo Agency
Abigail Brown Picture: Family/Solent News & Photo Agency
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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BACKPACKER Abigail Brown unintentionally killed herself trying to frighten her boyfriend after a ‘silly row’ on a night out with him while they were living together in Thailand, an inquest heard.

Abigail, known as Abi to her family and friends, had been out with her partner James Brum in the city of Phuket when she left him to return to their apartment ‘in a huff’.

The 26-year-old from Waterlooville, described by loved ones as a ‘gregarious fun loving girl with a zest for life’, tied bed sheets around her neck and hanged herself when she got home.

Her heartbroken mother Jane Rowland, 50, told the inquest she believed her daughter meant ‘only to frighten him or upset him or make him realise how upset she was in that moment’.

Mr Brum, 30, returned to the apartment later after giving his girlfriend three hours to ‘cool off’, the coroner said, when he found Abi unconscious on January 7 this year.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard he called Mrs Rowland and her husband Rob at around 4am UK time, and she today described the ‘complete shock’ of hearing of her daughter’s death.

She recalled: ‘James said Abi is gone. We had a silly row, she went back to the room. She hung herself. She’s died.

‘That night she had too much to drink. She thought he was going to follow her back, find her and they would move on and never have that row again. I truly believe Abi did not mean to take her own life. She meant only to frighten him or upset him.’

The inquest heard Abi was physically and mentally fit and healthy and ‘never took her life for granted except in that one moment’.

Mrs Rowland went on: ‘James and Abi were a loving couple, they were going to get married and have four boys. They had a whole future planned.’

Following the inquest Mrs Rowland paid tribute to her daughter’s desire to travel the world. She said: ‘Abi was a gregarious, fun-loving girl with a zest for life.

‘She could be in a moment and take you with her. She was wanderlust, thoughtful and generous.

‘She had a wide network of friends and kept in close contact with them.

‘I can only come to the conclusion that on that night she had too much to drink, was upset and only meant to make James aware of how upset she was. I truly believe that Abi never meant the outcome to be fatal.’

A Thai police report said Abi, who had travelled to India, the Philippines and Australia after giving up her job as a PA in London, was found unconscious.

The inquest heard a post mortem found the cause of death was given as asphyxiation or suffocation.

Coroner Samantha Marsh recorded a verdict of misadventure.

She said: ‘I’m very sorry for your loss. It is a complete waste of what seemed like a very good life.’

Speaking after the inquest, Mr and Mrs Rowland said: ‘We will always be saddened by the death of our beautiful daughter Abi.

‘There is no one to blame for this moment of folly but there is a lesson to be learnt.

‘When young people travel to these hot, exciting places with cheap and unregulated alcohol they need to look out for each other and stay safe.’