Former model ends life after ‘missing system’

A former model who had recently moved to Torquay after becoming widow ended her days after not being able to see a doctor.

Pillar of Lorraine was tragically found to have died in his garage on July 29, 2020, an inquest has heard.

His family says that a few days earlier, on 13 July the 68 year old woman had called and attended the Chelston Hall in Torquay surgery to ask for help because she felt depressed.

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However, as she was not registered with the surgery, she was given a form which she immediately completed and told that the treatment could take up to two weeks.

Ms Pillar had recently moved from Sidmouth to Torquay following the death of her husband Chris, a classic car enthusiast. The house they shared together was described as “immaculate” and Sidmouth was described as “her life” as that was where all her friends were.

Worried about how she would continue to pay the mortgage after her husband’s death, Mrs Pillar decided to downsize and moved to Torquay where one of her sons lived.

Her new seaside home was described as in need of refurbishment and she had admitted to family and friends that she had regretted the move and planned to return to Sidmouth once work on the property was completed.



Torquay Seafront

The inquest at Plymouth Coroners Court today, February 18, heard that she shared no feelings of wanting to end her life, but had told her son Jason that she felt depressed and had tried to seek help from Chelston Hall Surgery but was not seen in front of her. death.

Jason said: “I believe the system operated by Chelston Hall has failed my mother. There is a duty of care to every new patient from the first point of contact, particularly when they explain that they are depressed and at seeking immediate help.

“I believe that the lack of these initial records and the compounded inability not to contact my mother once her records were received led her to take her own life.

“Mental health problems are extremely important. Chelston Hall offered no support for mom to help him.”

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He added: ‘Mum told me she explained to the receptionist that she felt depressed as she had recently lost her husband and did not like his move to Torquay.

Jason told the coroner, “I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

A statement from Chelston Hall Surgery in response to family concerns said Ms Pillar was added as a new patient on July 20, 2020 and there was mention of mental health issues, bereavement or social issues .

He said there was no record of contact being made by Kent-born Ms Pillar.

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One of the last people believed to have seen her alive was John Mayoh, who had been friends with her late husband. He told in a statement how his new home was ‘very far’ from his home in Sidmouth and out of the blue she said she had made a mistake moving to Torquay.

He said: ‘She was not settled in the new property and found it upsetting.

Mr Mayoh recalled that they had gone to dinner on July 25 and that she had decided to return to Sidmouth.

He said: “She gave me no indication that she felt so down and I and her sons were shocked by her actions. »

The police officer in charge of the case confirmed that she was found hanged in the garage of her apartment by relatives and that there were no suspicious circumstances or involvement of third parties. At home, she left a note that said “forgive me”.

Coroner Ian Arrow has recorded a conclusion of suicide.

The Samaritans are reachable 24 hours a day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need an immediate response, it’s best to call them over the phone. You can reach them by calling 116 123, emailing [email protected] or visiting www.samaritans.org

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