Years of abuse led to woman's death

YEARS of torment and turmoil after being raped as a child, finally ended when an Ipswich woman was found hanging from a tree.Jeanette Westall had her life ruined after being raped when she was 15-years-old, the inquest at Ipswich Crown Court heard.

YEARS of torment and turmoil after being raped as a child, finally ended when an Ipswich woman was found hanging from a tree.

Jeanette Westall had her life ruined after being raped when she was 15-years-old, the inquest at Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She was found hanging from a tree in the grounds of St Clement's Hospital on May 8, after being admitted on April 30 for treatment of a mental illness.

Her husband Martin Westall of Elmhurst Drive, Ipswich, told the coroner at Wednesday's hearing how she plunged into mental despair after the incident, and was constantly fighting demons within her.


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He said: "The reason we are here today is due to one man. This man sexually abused Jeanette. This man is a paedophile and has been tried and found guilty of being a paedophile.

"She was in hospital because she was disturbed by what this man did."

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"I know it is a harsh way of putting it, but I feel he murdered my wife's mind and I feel that this man is a danger to other children."

During her time at the hospital, she was under close supervision and was being treated by psychiatrist Dr Ahmed Sirag.

He said: "When I interviewed her she talked of past sexual abuse and said that it had ruined her life. She also said that whenever she had sex with her husband she had flashbacks, and lost interest in sex for two years."

The family of Mrs Westall expressed concerns about the treatment she had received at the hospital, pointing out that she was unsupervised at the moment she made her escape.

Mr Westall, who had been planning a family with his wife, said: "She was a caring person who looked after people who were in need and when she needed help herself she was let down I believe."

However coroner Dr Peter Dean said he was certain that the hospital had done all they could to help her and had given her their full attention.

Mrs Westall escaped from the ward when nurses had to deal with an urgent situation in the next ward.

Despite doors at both ends of the ward being locked, it is thought that she escaped through a bathroom window in the few minutes that she was left unsupervised.

Healthcare assistant Robert Gemmill discovered Mrs Westall in the grounds of the hospital. She was found hanging from a tree by a bandage.

Dr Dean added: "This was an illness so profound that there wasn't a quick fix. People tend to view psychiatric illnesses in a totally different way to physical illnesses. It is a terminal illness in just the same way as cancer is, and is an illness that we have to deal with in the same way."

"The family have painted a very clear picture of someone who was concealing a lot of these feelings for a great many years. This was someone who was reacting to all those problems that have happened in the last few years."

He recorded an open verdict, as he could not be sure that Mrs Westall intended or realised the consequences of her actions.

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