MYSTERY emails and telephone calls could have triggered the chain of events leading to the suicide of a talented scientist, an inquest heard.

Isabelle Mareuge had been bombarded with messages for ten months, her sister told the hearing into her death.

The “electronic stalking” became so bad that police even suggested contacting a private investigator specialising in IT.

Isabelle, 43, was found lying on the kitchen floor at her sister Sylvie’s home in Bitterne, Southampton, with a fatal stab wound to her chest on December 17.

Her sister Sylvie, 49, said Isabelle, who had moved into her home in Whites Road four weeks earlier, had been bombarded with strange emails and telephone calls three years before her death.

She told the inquest: “She was complaining about electronic stalking.

“We were unsure what was wrong with her but I believe that some people were sensing she was unbalanced and were experimenting with her a bit.

“It’s something that happens and isn’t taken very seriously.

“I know she was already disturbed but this didn’t help.”

Afterwards she told the Daily Echo about the flood of emails claiming to be from a recruitment company offering her a job and numerous answephone messages on her mobile phone, including an unknown woman saying “where have you been, we were worried about you”.

Sylvie said the messages continued for ten months and police suggested they contact a private investigator specialising in IT.

She added: “It’s very disturbing. All of this Internet use has definitely contributed to affecting her.”

Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman recorded a suicide verdict after hearing how the mechanical scientist had battled depression since separating from her husband in France.

The inquest was told Isabelle had been admitted to a French hospital twice in April and May last year where experts described her as “suicidal”.

She was on a course of antidepressants and felt “isolated” after losing custody of her children.

Mr Wiseman said: “I am satisfied that she took her own life.”

Commenting on the internet activity, he added: “I’m very sorry if that was happening, as she had enough problems.”

Her sister Odile, 59, who also lives in Whites Road, said: “Cyber stalking isn’t taken seriously.

“A fair part of our lives is on the Internet and therefore unsavory activities are going to go that way too.

“She wasn’t delusional and we think the business of being taunted electronically has some bearing.”

She remembered the former youth ski champion and salsa dancer as “beautiful” and “intelligent”

and added: “She had a very kind heart and a beautiful smile.

“She was very talented and it is a tremendous waste.”

A spokesman for Hampshire police said: “If people do feel they are being harassed or stalked they should report it to the police.

“This is something we take seriously and further information to prevent yourself becoming a victim is available on the advice and information page on our website.”

Visit /advice-and-information.