Depressed Plumpton woman fell from cliffs, inquest hears

The inquest was held at Eastbourne Town Hall
The inquest was held at Eastbourne Town Hall

A woman suffering from severe depression who feared premature ageing took her own life, an inquest has concluded.

The body of Sarah Yassin, 43, was recovered from the foot of cliffs at Seaford Head by the Coastguard helicopter on July 26, 2017. She died of multiple injuries.

In recent months she had become concerned about the early onset of the menopause, the inquest heard, and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She was prescribed increasing amounts of medication.

Mrs Yassin, of Barnfield, Plumpton Green, was described as a “generous and kind” woman who lived for her husband, Dr James Yassin, and their two children.

She took a pride in her personal appearance and physical health, enjoying running, cycling, tennis and yoga. She was also a talented photographer.

More than 300 people attended her funeral at St Anne’s Church in Lewes.

Dr Yassin told the inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall that he and his wife would not shrink from honest conversations about her health and what she had described as her “wonky brain”.

She left her home on July 25, 2017, saying she was going to take photographs at the Seven Sisters cliffs between Seaford and Eastbourne.

Later, letters to her husband and children were found at their home. A note was also left in her car, found parked on Seaford seafront.

Community psychiatric nurse Caroline Thomas told the inquest Mrs Yassin was suffering from severe depression but “wanted to get better”.

Cognitive behavioural therapist Daniel Middlehurst said she was concerned about “a chronic lack of fun and joy” in her life, and her physical health. She was struggling to understand why she was feeling so depressed and worried about premature ageing.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Richard Bowskill said Mrs Yassin had “a profound sense of shock that her body had let her down”.

East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze said he had no doubts she had gone to Seaford Head with the intention of bringing her life to an end.

He said it was devastating for those left behind and extended his sympathy and condolences to her family.