Woman took her own life in town centre, coroner concludes

JPCT 20-07-12 S12290175X Swan Walk car park, Samaritans sign -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 20-07-12 S12290175X Swan Walk car park, Samaritans sign -photo by Steve Cobb
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A woman was fatally injured when she jumped from Swan Walk multi storey car park in January this year, an inquest heard.

The inquest in Horsham yesterday heard that Rosemary Bowden, 50, of Barrow Close, Billingshurst, died at the scene of the incident, on Tuesday January 15.

Her body was found at the foot of the four-storey car park, just off Albion Way.

Police confirmed that there was no indication of any other person being involved.

Coroner’s officer Jemma Cullen told the County Times that in her statement to the inquest, she said that Mrs Bowden, a pharmacist who was married and had been treated for cancer throughout 2012.

She was suffering from anxiety and depression, and was increasingly worried that her long absence from work would lead to her losing her job.

Mrs Bowden was also very concerned about how she would cope if anything happened to her husband.

She had been in contact with Sussex Partnership Mental Health Team, which provided a report to the inquest.

Mrs Bowden was also prescribed Mirtazapine, an anti-depressant.

On January 15, police and paramedics were called to Swan Walk after a member of the public found a body at the foot of the building.

An ambulance crew confirmed that she had died of multiple injuries, apparently caused by falling from the car park.

Mrs Bowden’s husband reported her missing early that evening.

She had gone out for a walk around 3.45pm and had not returned.

At 5.30pm her husband called her mobile phone several times but got no reply.

He contacted police and raised the alarm after realising that her mobile phone was still in the house.

Helen Lawrence, a coroner’s officer for West Sussex, was at the scene in Swan Walk and was able to confirm that the person whose body they had found was Mrs Bowden.

A post mortem was carried out at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

Blood samples were sent to the biochemistry department at Royal Sussex County Hospital.

A report from Andrew Smith, submitted to the coroner, said she had prescription levels of Mirtazapine in her bloodstream.

There were no traces of alcohol or other drugs.

West Sussex assistant deputy coroner Christopher Wilkinson recorded a finding that she had taken her own life.

In recent years, there have been several similar incidents at Swan Walk.

Signs have been placed around the car park by 24 hour emotional support charity Samaritans.

The Samaritans have a website at www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-horsham-and-crawley