Woman found in river had made cry for help to police

IPSWICH: A woman who was found dead in the River Orwell had issued a cry of help to police, an inquest has heard.

Sandra Warne was 47 when she was found face down in the water on March 30 this year.

Despite desperate attempts by passers-by and paramedics to revive her, she was declared dead at the scene and was later confirmed to have drowned.

But an inquest held at Ip-City yesterday revealed Ms Warne had been in touch with police.

She attended Ipswich police station on March 28 to complain of youths calling her names, Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean was told.


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When a police community support officer visited her at home in Barrack Lane he was concerned about Ms Warne’s well-being and submitted a vulnerable adult form.

Later in the day she spoke to another police officer at the station of her fears that she would be taken to prison in a police van and the officer alerted social services and the mental health crisis team.

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That evening Ms Warne’s neighbour, Shirley Williams, called police to report she was walking barefoot up and down the street, and later that she had blood on the front of her neck.

Her body was spotted floating towards Stoke Bridge at around 12.30pm the next day.

Dr Dean said a letter or note was found at the home address and a bent wooden-handled bread knife with some blood on the blade.

“Clearly from the evidence of the note and the possible self harm, the possibility of suicide is there, but she had not expressed any outward signs of suicidal intent that day,” he added and recorded an open verdict.

Ms Warne’s family was present at the inquest and paid tribute to her.

Mother Marjorie Warne, 82, of Trimley St Martin, said: “She was a lovely little girl and a bright person.

“She always wanted to help people.

“I do miss her badly. She used to come and see me every Thursday, so this all makes me very sad.”

The coroner added that an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found officers had responded promptly to calls and spent time trying to reassure Ms Warne.

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