Mother with mental health issues found dead in Southsea hotel died by suicide, inquest rules

Sarah Nash committed suicide in a Southsea hotel. Here she is pictured in Blackpool in 2017
Sarah Nash committed suicide in a Southsea hotel. Here she is pictured in Blackpool in 2017

THE LOVED ones of a mother found dead in a hotel have paid tribute to the ‘kind, loving and beautiful soul’ she was. 

Sarah Nash was found by police with a needle in her hand at The Ferryman in Southsea. 

Sarah Nash, left, with fiance Louise Huntley-Mitchell at Milton Locks Nature Reserve, where the pair got engaged

Sarah Nash, left, with fiance Louise Huntley-Mitchell at Milton Locks Nature Reserve, where the pair got engaged

After a lengthy history of mental health issues, overdoses and self-harm, a coroner has ruled she died by suicide. 

An inquest into the 34-year-old's death heard she had a cocktail of prescription medications, alcohol and drugs in her system, including a lethal level of heroin. 

Sarah’s fiancée, Louise Huntley-Mitchell said she knew her partner was drunk to the point of psychotic and had suicidal thoughts the night before she was found.

Louise, who met Sarah while the pair were inpatients at St James’s Hospital, said: ‘Sarah had many bad experiences and demons from her past that she was unable to see a future. 

‘Mental health workers advised us to end our relationship so she moved out. We lived together for almost 15 months. 

‘She felt lonely, isolated and heartbroken. She had a big problem with alcohol.’  

The court heard Sarah suffered a difficult childhood, volatile relationships and was hit badly by losing custody of her children. 

Louise said the text messages Sarah sent her the night before she was found dead on February 18 were concerning. 

The 32-year-old added: ‘She was drunk to the point of psychotic and suicidal thoughts. 

‘I was trying to make silly jokes to lift her mood but she said she wanted more alcohol. 

‘I did have a strange feeling in me but I thought she’d fallen asleep after drinking too much.

‘The next morning, I kept texting and calling her but with no luck, so I called the police. 

‘When they told me she was dead I screamed and was sick. 

‘I didn’t think she had been using drugs since September. She would have said if she was. 

‘I feel like a part of me has been ripped away. She was a kind, loving and beautiful soul.

‘I never met anyone that didn’t instantly like her.’

Sarah overdosed on a mix of drugs on February 5 and a doctor at Queen Alexandra Hospital said she intended to kill herself. On another occasion she stabbed herself in the liver. 

Her younger sister Emmy Lou Treadwell spoke of the pain Sarah endured when she lost custody of her first child and how she was a caring woman.

Det Sgt Martin Longyear told Portsmouth Coroner's Court when officers entered Sarah’s hotel room it was clear she had been living from a suitcase. She had been staying there for three weeks. He said: ‘It was untidy but there were no signs of any disturbances or injuries. 

‘She was living on the breadline with help from food banks.’ 

The coroner, David Horsley, said it seems Sarah convinced QA Hospital she wasn’t suicidal when discharged in February.

He said: ‘If Sarah had been off drugs I believe on this occasion she got them with the intent to end her life. I think she thought enough was enough.’ 

Sarah’s best friend Michelle Miller added: ‘Sarah’s kids meant everything to her. They were her world.’