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Parents make shock discovery

PUBLISHED: 09:30 30 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:45 03 March 2010

PARENTS had to cut their daughter down after they found her hanging from the garage roof, an inquest heard.

Leslie and Winifred Counsell discovered their daughter Andrea hanging from the garage roof by a frayed cord, but were too late to save her life.

PARENTS had to cut their daughter down after they found her hanging from the garage roof, an inquest heard.

Leslie and Winifred Counsell discovered their daughter Andrea hanging from the garage roof by a frayed cord, but were too late to save her life.

Mr Counsell had been planning to mow the lawn at the family home in Playfield Road, Capel St Mary, when he made the gruesome discovery on July 28 this year.

Greater Suffolk and East Essex Coroner, Dr Peter Dean, read statements from the couple which said their daughter had been suffering from depression, but had seemed well on the day of her death.

Dr Dean said the 31-year-old nurse had suffered from alcoholism as well as depression and had once been a voluntary patient at St Clement's Hospital.

But on the morning of her death, Mr Counsell reported she had slept well and appeared happy when he spoke to her just before 8am.

She had left the room an hour later, but Mr Counsell presumed she had gone for a walk, Dr Dean said.

He said it was only an hour later when Mr Counsell found his daughter, her feet trailing on the garage floor.

Emergency services were called and paramedic Paul Leach confirmed death at the scene.

Dr Dean read statements from a psychiatrist at St Clement's which reported Miss Counsell had expressed suicidal thoughts in the past.

But Dr Dean said Miss Counsell's earlier state of mind could not be used as a reliable guide for her mindset at the time of her death. He said it was possible feelings of depression could have followed a four-day abstinence from alcohol.

Dr Dean said it was also possible Miss Counsell had not meant to kill herself and her death was the result of a cry for help gone wrong.

He said he was unable to record a verdict of suicide unless he was sure she had deliberately taken her own life.

In conclusion, Dr Dean said very real questions remained about the circumstances and recorded an open verdict.

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