Woman hanged herself while her parents were on holiday inquest hears

Woman, 23, hanged herself while her parents were on holiday after she was sacked from her job and her dog was put down, inquest hears

  • Ruby Leaity decided to stay at home at last minute as family went on mini break
  • Coroner told how she struggled to come to terms with losses during lockdown
  • Mother returned from the trip to find her hanged at family home in Southampton 
  • For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a Samaritans branch 

A young woman hanged herself while her parents were on holiday after she was sacked from her job and her dog was put down, an inquest heard today.

Ruby Leaity, 23, decided to stay at home at the last minute as her family planned a mini-break to the countryside during the first Covid lockdown.

Her mother, Mary, spoke to Ruby every day during the trip, but on her return to the family home in Southampton in June 2019, Mrs Leaity tragically found her daughter hanged.  

The coroner was told that the ‘beautiful’ young girl, who had struggled with depression and anxiety for a decade, had endured a particularly tough time in lockdown, as she tried to come to terms with losing the family dog as well as a job she loved just weeks before her death.

Ruby Leaity, 23, decided to stay at home at the last minute as her family planned a mini-break to the countryside during the first Covid lockdown

Police constable Hannah Kemish explained that she found a note in Ruby’s bedroom which read: ‘This was no-one’s fault but my own, please wear red.’

The devastated mother told the coroner: ‘On June 18 2019, me and my husband went on holiday. The original plan was for Ruby to go with us but she decided at the last minute that she did not want to. 

‘We had never left her on her own before. It was only for five days but she got more anxious when we went away.

‘I was really worried, I can remember thinking she is an adult and we cannot stay with her forever, we cannot mind her forever. She is home and safe.

‘We spoke to her every day while we were away, I last spoke to her at 5.30pm the night before I found her, she was asking when we were getting home and she sounded okay. In retrospect, I should have read more into what she said but I did not.’

Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg heard from the mother how Ruby had struggled with depression and anxiety for the past 10 years and had attempted to take her life several times before her death on July 23, 2019.

‘She had been sacked from her job, she was let go because she had missed two meetings because she had mental health appointments. She loved the job she was doing,’ she told the coroner.

‘She struggled badly with the lockdown and the loss of a family dog which was put down on July 7. She had loved the dog, it had very much been a companion for her throughout her hardest times.’ 

Pathologist Dr Victoria Elliot confirmed to the coroner that her cause of death was hanging due to depression.

Sitting at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court today, Mr Pegg concluded a verdict of suicide. 

He said: ‘Ruby was only 23 at the time of her death, she was an exceptional young lady, funny, clever, beautiful and someone who thought of others.

The coroner was told that the ‘beautiful’ young girl had really struggled in lockdown, as she tried to come to terms with losing the family dog as well as a job she loved just weeks before her death

‘She was someone who for 10 years prior to her death had suffered from mental health issues. On July 18 last year her mother Mary Liaty went away in holiday. At the last minute Ruby decided she was not going with them.

‘This was the first time that Ruby had been left alone. Her mother had concerns alleviated by the fact she had made plans and was in a positive mood.’

The coroner mentioned the ‘consequences of lockdown affecting many in this country’, adding: ‘Ruby was someone with powerful mood swings, it seems to me that she had one of those mood swings on July 23 2019.’

Following her tragic death, family friend Matt Cutting raised more than £11,000 for the charity Mind in honour of Ruby.

In a tribute online, he said: ‘Ruby was the kindest, most caring and beautiful human to walk this earth. She put everyone else’s feelings before her own and because of the above she was loved by so many.

‘She was always the first person to be there for everyone she knew, through thick and thin, no matter what the situation was. She was not only an amazing human being but an amazing daughter, sister, auntie and friend. She touched so many lives.

‘I am personally so grateful that I got the chance to have you in my life for so many great years, creating so many amazing memories. I would also like to thank you for being the perfect auntie to our beautiful Mia, she loves you so very much Ru.

‘She will miss you but at the same time will have nothing but fond memories to remember you by. As will so many others. Shine bright and sleep well beautiful angel. We all love you so much.

‘She could no longer cope with life’s demons. She fought so hard for so long to get better and was doing so well. Even with all the support around her, Ruby sadly found it all too much.’

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

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