Inquest of woman who set fire to herself in train toilet
A WOMAN who took her own life by setting fire to herself in a train toilet near Linslade was suffering from paranoid-schizophrenia, an inquest heard today (April 20).
Rachel James, 43, committed suicide on the Northampton – London Euston train line, on April 11 2010, the anniversary of the death of the son she stabbed to death 14 years ago.
At Bedford Coroners court, a verdict of taking her own life was recorded, with the cause of death ‘incineration’.
HM Assistant Deputy Coroner Bob Amos said: “Rachel experienced trauma and loss in her life to a degree that the average man and woman would struggle to contemplate. She suffered a profound psychiatric episode during which she took the life of her child, ‘P’ and it emerged it was the intention to take her own life too. She was convicted of manslaughter, she was detained under the Mental Health Act and she recovered herself significantly in later years but it was the life she could never reach, that which she wanted most, which was family life.”
Rachel was estranged from her son ‘A’ who survived the attack which killed his brother, and her two younger children were adopted at birth, something which affected her deeply.
Her own adopted mother, Anne Ryecroft, was not present but her statement was read out which said: “Rachel was a deeply disturbed woman. The mental health team did not grasp the measure of her. She was very ill.”
The court heard from eight witnesses including the passenger who saw the fire and pressed the train’s emergency stop button, two friends who were travelling with Rachel at the time, other friends and neighbours and her doctors.
For the full story see this Tuesday’s LBO.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
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