THE family of a mum who killed herself after suffering a campaign of violence and domestic abuse from her partner have accused authorities of failing her.
Alison Bell’s relatives have criticised police and mental health teams for failing to ensure that the 48-year-old – who was classed as “high risk” – felt safe in the weeks before she died.
An inquest into the death of the mum-of-two heard how Ms Bell took a deliberate overdose at her home in Henry Road, Shirley, Southampton, after enduring months of intimidation and physical abuse from her partner Alan Snyder.
Alison Bell with her dog Chudley
Southampton Coroner’s Court was told how Mr Snyder had previously served time in prison for harassing her.
The pair had got into a relationship after Ms Bell escaped from a violent marriage.
Friend Stacey Cotton described the couple’s relationship as “stormy”, with Ms Bell “fearing for her safety” during arguments and physical abuse.
Giving evidence, PC Gavin Jordan said an investigation found that although her partner’s actions could have contributed to her “state of mind” he could not be physically implicated in her death.
Depression The inquest was told how the jewellery display worker’s fear had triggered depression and anxiety that was so severe she had talked of ending her life.
On February 2, two days after a row with Mr Snyder, she took an overdose.
Ms Bell had been receiving mental health support from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Following her death the trust carried out a case review from which it says it has now “learned lessons”.
It has also promised to improve communications with other agencies, ensure more face-to-face assessments, assign named workers to each service user and give more staff training.
A spokesman said: “Communication with Alison’s domestic violence advocate could have been better, to make them more aware of the mental health support she was receiving.”
A spokesman for Hampshire police said that the force is conducting a review, the findings of which will be disclosed to Ms Bell’s family.
After the inquest, Ms Bell’s eldest daughter Marisa, 30, from south London, said: “There were massive failings from both the police and mental health services not talking to each other.”
Younger daughter Monique, 26, said: “They need to be more proactive in their approach to vulnerable people with constant suicidal thoughts.”