A woman who took her own life may have been dead in the bedroom of her shared house for days before she was discovered, an inquest heard today.
Mother Elise Gibbins, 38, was discovered in Windmill Road, Adeyfield, on Wednesday, June 19, less than a month after coming off her anti-psychotic medication, Herts Coroners Court was told.
She was under the care of Gelena Baciu from the Hemel Hempstead Community Mental Health Team, who had seen her once in April and again on Tuesday, May 28.
After the first session, Dr Baciu agreed to reduce her dosage of medication, and when she saw her again, she stopped the prescription completely.
Dr Baciu said: “She presented herself as a pretty normal person to me – friendly, able to discuss any topics and answer any questions.
“She was thinking about her future and getting a job and I got the impression she had a social circle she felt comfortable with.”
After police told her ex-husband Terry about her death, he said she had seemed fine when he last saw her seven days earlier, the inquest heard.
The court was told she had a son, that she had been made redundant from Tesco and for a while in 2011 took anti-depressants.
She suffered an acute psychotic episode in February 2012 and spent a short period of time at an in-patient mental health centre in St Albans, the inquest heard.
She had gone to hospital, saying that she was suffering from suicidal thoughts and ‘abnormal delusional beliefs’ involving reincarnation, Dr Baciu said.
This led Dr Baciu to believe that if her condition became worse after May 28, Elise would again be able to seek help by herself.
She had tried to commit suicide twice before, but that was in the 1980s, the court heard.
Her body was found after her flatmates complained about the smell to landlord Martin Harris.
He phoned the police after finding the door to her room jammed shut.
PC Emily Stelling said that a swivel chair had been put against the door, but when she gained entry she found that Elise had hanged herself.
She described the room as ‘quite untidy with a lot of bins in it’. She said one of Elise’s pet rats had died in its cage, but the other was alive.
Elise’s uncle Jon, who was at the inquest, said: “I am sorry you had to find her like that. It must have been very upsetting for you.”
Coroner Edward Thomas said Elise may have had another form of psychotic episode, in which her beliefs in reincarnation affected her rational judgement.
He therefore ruled that she took her own life but her intentions were unclear.