Hastings woman took her own life after run-in with rogue traders

A 51-year-old woman took her own life at her Hastings home after being caused ‘significant distress’ by rogue traders.
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Gaynor Marshall died at her home on Benbrook Road on May 18 this year following a history of mental health and drug problems, the inquest heard.

An inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Wednesday (December 2), heard Ms Marshall, who lived alone, had dealt with rogue traders prior to her death, something that caused ‘a great deal of stress’ according to her family.

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Her GP, Dr Dawn Harrington, said she regularly saw Ms Marshall for her mental health and drug issues.

Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155054008Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155054008
Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155054008

She also said that Ms Marshall’s interaction with the community mental health team and STAR was intermittent.

Richard Lawson, Ms Marshall’s step-father, said, “She had cycles of good and bad times, but she was a very kind, generous and likeable person.”

Ms Marshall was in regular contact with her family according to Mr Lawson.

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He said, “We didn’t expect her to take her own life, she seemed happy and things were going well. We thought she’d turned over a new leaf.”

Detective Sergeant Joanna Cooper attended the scene and told the inquest that Ms Marshall had had issues with ‘rogue traders’ prior to her death.

She said the group of four men in a white van were said to have turned up to do gardening work for Ms Marshall and her neighbours in an ‘unorthodox’ way.

Ms Cooper said they ‘don’t specify a price and offer to do some work, they did a shoddy job and then demanded money from Ms Marshall’, something that caused her ‘significant distress’ according to coroner James Healy-Pratt.

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Although it was stressed that the rogue traders weren’t a cause for Ms Marshall taking her own life, Mr Healy-Pratt did say she was a ‘vulnerable’ person and the traders ‘threw her off balance’.

East Sussex coroner Mr Healy-Pratt ruled that Ms Marshall took her own life.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help - the charity’s helpline is 116 123.

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