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Mother of two takes her own life at Marsh Benham railway

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

09-1012A Town Hall

THE friends of a mother-of-two who ended her life on a railway track after battling depression have described her as “nurturing, caring, kind and giving”.

At the inquest into the death of Sarah Ruth Bradley, her estranged husband Adrian described how, after multiple attempts to contact his 43-year-old former wife, he arrived at her home in Boxford on Sunday, September 21, last year, and found her car missing and an array of individually add-ressed letters on the dining room table.

He said he knew at once what had happened and alerted police, sparking a massive hunt involving helicopter, sniffer dogs, detectives and police officers.

The search proved fruitless, the inquest heard, until a train driver reported spotting a body on the track which, it transpired, had been struck by an unknown train at some point between the previous evening the and Sunday morning.

Post mortem tests revealed she died from multiple injuries. There were prescription drugs in her system but no alcohol, according to toxicology tests.

The inquest heard that she had convinced herself that she was unable to cope with motherhood and had suffered post-natal depression following the birth of each of her two sons.

Mr Bradley said his es-tranged wife was a “wonderful person” and that he did “everything he could for her”, but that caring for her during her dark depressions had taken its toll on their marriage and they had eventually parted.

At one stage, Mr Bradley said, “she asked me for a reconciliation, but I felt I could not carry on in my role as carer”.

The inquest at Newbury Town Hall yesterday (Wednesday) heard how her family and friends blamed him for putting her through “emotional abuse and mental torture” during the marriage – a claim he vehemently denied.

The hearing heard that in May 2014, four months before her death, she had voluntarily admitted herself to Prospect Park Hospital where she stayed for 50 days.

During her stay, the hearing heard how Mr Bradley said he tried to pass on details of her previous mental health problems to Prospect Park Hospital but these were not properly recorded.

An independent investigator told the hearing that excluding that information underestimated her mental state in terms of future risk assessments, calling it “unwise and potentially dangerous”.

However, she told friends that she thought she had been released too soon and was agitated by the thought of returning home and was overwhelmed by the responsibility of looking after her children.

In early 2013, a psychiatrist diagnosed her with type two bipolar disorder, the inquest heard.

Three days before her death she was deemed as low risk by a health professional.

On the morning of her disappearance, she seemed in good spirits and had arranged to meet her estranged hus-band and two sons for Sunday dinner.

Mr Bradley told the inquest how he then found a series of letters, one of which was addressed to him and which outlined her intention to end her life.

Recording a narrative verdict Berkshire coroner Mr Peter Bedford related the above facts and said Mrs Bradley had intended to take her own life.

He added: “The relationship between Sarah and Adrian is a delicate and difficult area, but an area I cannot choose to ignore.

“It is clear that the family blame Adrian for what happened but that is at best over-simplification.”

After the hearing, one of her closest friends, Lesley Kerry, said: “I will remember her big smile, infectious giggle and beautiful singing voice – she had the voice of an angel.

“She was an incredible mother to her two young boys and she will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

“She was nurturing, caring, kind and giving.”

Born in Guernsey, Mrs Bradley studied for a PHD in biochemistry before working for Bayer in Newbury.

She lived in Boxford and was a keen singer and member of the Stockcross Panto Players, performing in amateur dramatic productions.



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