Tributes made to retired Southsea teacher after she takes her own life

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TRIBUTES have been made to a retired teacher describing her as fun, loud and loved her family and friends.

The loving comments have been made after Jean Curry, 63, of Napier Road, Southsea, died in Bridport, Dorset, in February this year.

An inquest at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court concluded Ms Curry had taken her own life.

Her sister Linden Leeke described her sister as fun and loud.

She said: ‘We were more than just sisters, we were really close.

‘She was a great friend and we did everything together.

‘She loved cycling and walking, and was fun-loving.’

Ms Curry had been a member of the Portsmouth Pensioners Association and Pompey Peddlers.

The inquest heard officers from Dorset police were called shortly after 11.50am on February 11, this year, after a woman had jumped off the cliffs of West Bay on to East Beach.

She landed on a grass verge which cushioned her fall, and although paramedics said she was conscious, she wasn’t able to speak.

An air ambulance was called to the scene and medics tried their best to revive her.

But at 12.45pm she was pronounced dead.

A search of her car, which was parked nearby, was said to be clean and tidy and there was a pair of walking boots in the boot of the car.

A post mortem found Ms Curry had died as a result of multiple injuries due to a fall from a height.

She had been an informal patient at the Orchards in St James’ Hospital, in Locksway Road, Milton.

In December last year, Ms Curry went on a walking holiday to Majorca, but came home four days early on December 23 as she had trouble communicating with others.

The court heard she spent Christmas alone and had been too scared to move around in her home or put on the lights, in case her neighbours knew she was on her own.

Finally on January 2, Ms Curry contacted her sister, who lives in Cambridgeshire, as a cry for help.

On January 14 her GP referred her to mental health services where she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act due to anxiety and depression.

Mrs Leeke said her sister was often agitated and her personal hygiene decreased during her stay.

However the court heard during her stay her mood improved, and after a conversation with Sarika Kakwani, a consultant psychiatrist, on the ward, it was agreed Ms Curry’s mental state had improved and no longer needed to be sectioned.

She was given day leave to return home on February 9, and she returned to the ward.

She was then given permission for an overnight stay at her home on February 10, but failed to return on February 11.

Me Kakwani said: ‘Ms Curry expressed suicidal thoughts but never mentioned any plans.

‘she was on an open ward but never absconded, and when she was given day leave she did return.

‘I am truly shocked by what happened.’

Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of Ms Curry taking her own life.

Background on Ms Curry.

She went to Exeter university before coming to Portsmouth to do teaching training.

Her teaching career took her to Zambia in Africa where she taught at an all girls school before returning to the UK to carry on teaching.

She later retrained as an occupational therapist before retiring in 2013.

After this she travelling, including spending one month in Eastern Europe.

Although she never married, she did have a serious relationship with a German man that ended due to the long distance.

Mrs Leeke added: ‘Jean saw this as a trigger for the first serious illness.

‘In 2005 she spent time in the Hawthorns ward at St James’ Hospital where she was treated.

‘She said she got her life back on track and for the last nine years she lived a full life.

‘She went on lots of holidays - some with her friends and some on her own.

‘She was loyal and loved all her family and friends.

‘She had a wonderful soprano voice and loved singing in a choir.’