Money worries lead to Croxley Green woman's suicide

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A “dedicated mother” from Croxley Green took a drug overdose in a hotel after being “harassed” over debts she had already repaid, an inquest heard.

Caroline Conroy-Smith, of Whitegates Close, was found dead in her room at a Premier Inn in Loudwater, on Sunday December 12, after taking codeine, morphine, paracetamol and ibuprofen.

The 44-year-old’s husband, Russell, told the inquest how his wife was becoming stressed and working long hours while trying to set up her own business.

At the inquest, held in Amersham, he said: “Unbeknown to me she had some money worries. I knew nothing about that and it went back many years.

“We borrowed money and repaid the debt, but the Bank of Scotland continued to send further letters with increased debt amounts. We received calls about outstanding debts which we had already paid.

“I was unaware of this harassment. It only came to my attention after she passed away. They recognised they made errors and have made a financial donation to our children’s trust fund.”

He told the inquest how he last saw his wife at their home early in the morning of December 11, when he left to take his son to a football match.

After finding a note from Mrs Conroy-Smith in the family home, her mother drove to the football match to alert her husband to it. He said it was “a surprise” to see her there.

Mr Conroy-Smith told the inquest he did not know why she chose to go to the hotel in Loudwater, but suggested she may have stopped there while driving to Oxford to see a friend.

She was found in her room by housekeeper Monika Kliss, who told police staff she was unable to find a pulse.

Hotel manager David Wells said: “It was clear there was nothing they could do so they didn’t try anything.”

Records from the key card used to get into Mrs Conroy-Smith’s room show nobody entered or left the room after 3.05pm until the housekeeper’s card was used at 11.35am the following day. Suicide notes were found in the room, the inquest heard.

Paying tribute to Mrs Conroy-Smith, her husband said: “She was a dedicated daughter, sister and mother and a good friend to many and always willing to assist others.

“Her passing has left us broken hearted. She was a truly beautiful person in every way and we miss her.”

Recording a verdict that Mrs Conroy-Smith took her own life, coroner Richard Hulett said: “The reasoning behind it seems to be out of all proportion to the outcome, especially the loss to all members of the family.

“The choice of location is almost random.”

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