THE GRIEVING family of a young mum who were left “tormented” by the mystery surrounding her death will today hear the details of her final hours.
Mum-of-one Lucy Simms was at the centre of a complex murder investigation after she was found dead at her Southampton home, leading to the arrest of convicted rapist Lloyd Phillips.
But despite numerous tests, experts were unable to determine what caused her death, leaving her father fearing that he would never find out how his daughter died.
Lucy Simms with partner Gary Willoughby and daughter Octavia
No further action was taken against Phillips in connection with the 26-year-old’s death.
As previously reported, Lucy’s body was discovered by police who were called to her home in Vinery Road, Shirley, on the afternoon of June 4 last year, where it was understood Phillips had been before officers arrived.
At the time he was on police bail, preparing to take the stand in a retrial concerning the rape of a 22-year-old Hampshire woman whom he drugged before wheeling her unconscious into a London hotel and attacking her during a nine-hour ordeal.
The 48-year-old was also awaiting a separate trial at Southampton Crown Court accused of possessing illegal drugs with intent.
Those charges related to drugs known as “Giggle” and “Magic” which he sold over the counter at his shop Lucid, in the Bargate Shopping Centre – but they were actually banned class B and C substances.
Phillips has since been jailed for 11 years after being convicted of two counts of rape and four counts of serious sexual assault and pleading guilty to the drugs charges.
Before he was sent to prison, and despite being quizzed over her death, Phillips had changed his Twitter profile picture to one which showed him and Lucy together.
After a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive, her family waited weeks while toxicology tests were carried out – but they failed to determine a cause of death.
Her inquest has been listed as “unascertained”, leaving it to Hampshire’s coroner in Winchester to examine the evidence today to try to conclude what caused her death.
Speaking after his daughter’s death, Brian Simms said: “Unfortunately, it seems we will never know how she died.
“I’m told police have been able to limit her time of death to an eight-hour window, which isn’t enough to take anything forward.
“I worry because, as it stands, we haven’t had any closure from this horrible, horrible situation.”