Death in hotel room

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A university lecturer committed suicide in a hotel room after suffering months of depression.

Rachel Priscilla Millard booked into the Premier Lodge, in Garstang Road, Bilsborrow, near Preston, took an overdose, cut her wrists and hanged herself, an inquest heard.

The 37-year-old, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, was found two days later after worried staff called police.

She had suffered depression since January last year and was hospitalised in March for around four months after attempts to harm herself.

She had taken an overdose, tried to hang herself and once tried to use car exhaust fumes. But she was released in July and then got the job at the university three months before her death.

The hearing in Lancaster was told she seemed fine on Sunday October 12, the day she died, and that morning had taken her partner's two-year-old son Jacob to play in Morecambe's Happy Mount Park.

When she returned to their home in Windermere Road, Lancaster, at lunchtime she seemed perfectly happy, her partner of eight years Kim Wong told Lancaster Coroner's Court.

She said: "She said she'd had a nice time with Jacob. She ran down to the cellar and was actually laughing, saying, 'It's room service, do you want a coffee?'"

She said she was going to visit an elderly neighbour in hospital but never arrived.Instead Miss Millard, whose family live in Lyme Regis, Dorset, checked into the Premier Lodge and was not seen alive again.

Miss Wong grew worried when she did not return at teatime and called police. When she still had not returned next morning, she called her lover's place of work but she was not there.

On the Tuesday, police officers arrived to tell her Miss Millard had been found dead.

PC Alan Dixon went to the Premier Lodge because staff were concerned about about their guest's welfare.

He listened at her locked door, heard no sound except for the TV and then forced the door. He found bloodstains on the bed and a craft knife lying alongside.

Several tablet containers were also found, some still holding medication and some empty. Notes were also found in the room addressed to her loved ones.

He discovered Miss Millard's body in the bathroom. She had hanged herself. A post mortem examination found she had taken an overdose two types of anti-depressant drugs, alcohol and made cuts in her arms.

Pathologist Dr Bianca De Gama-Rose said: "The cause of death was hanging."

Coroner Howard McCann said: "If anyone was in any doubt, the notes say it all. Very regretfully for you all, I have got to say that Rachel killed herself."

email: judith.dornan@lep.co.uk