A 28-year-old woman took her own life after a history of mental health believed to have been worsened when the nation was locked-down due to the pandemic.

Claire Newens took her own life after ingesting a toxic substance at her home in North Baddesley on what had appeared to be a ‘normal’ Sunday evening for the family, an inquest heard.

In a statement from GP, Dr Holroyd, Claire had suffered with depression and sleep issues. Claire’s mental health concerns dated back to 2010.

Claire’s mum, Kathy Perkiss, told Winchester coroner Jason Pegg how Claire was an "intelligent person" and had tried to access University on two occasions, but each time decided to end the courses. She had wanted to study law but chose not to see it through.

Mrs Perkiss added: “She never really made friends, she never joined any of the clubs, she refused to do that.

“She was a bit of a loner, but she was doing better when she was working. She got a job with the NHS, and she picked up a bit of a social life there.

“I think things might have been different if it weren’t for the lockdown, working from home. She didn’t really have that network of friends.”

This was something backed by Claire's manager, Tiffany Hallett at Moorgreen Hospital. 

She told the inquest that Claire was a “great friendly part of the team who worked well with others”, but that she was concerned for Claire’s wellbeing when she told colleagues she felt “isolated” working from home during lockdown.

Claire's mother also expressed concerns that her daughter's biological father had conversations with Claire when she was around five years of age about his own suicide attempt.

Coroner Jason Pegg concluded: “From what I’ve heard, she (Claire) was an intelligent girl who had embarked upon two degrees.

“It is quite evident there were concerns in the family, Claire wasn’t enjoying the social scene you might expect for her age.

“She did obtain work and was a great team member.

“Sadly in March 2020, this country went into lockdown and she was isolated from her colleagues.

“Claire’s father would speak with her at a young age about suicide.

“From what we have heard, Claire left two notes and put them in places only her mother and stepfather would find them.

“Claire intended to take her own life. I rule suicide.”

  • For anyone who needs to talk about mental health issues or has experienced suicidal thoughts, contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org