A fun-loving millionaire’s wife hanged herself after arguing withher husband about her sleeping pill addiction.
Sharon Halliwell, 48, took her own life just weeks after returning from a holiday where she had attempted suicide.
The devoted mother-of-two, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, had a longstanding addiction to sleeping pills and ordered them in bulk off the internet, an inquest heard. An inquest heard she had been expecting a referral to a psychiatrist upon her return from jetting off on a month long trip to Singapore, Dubai and Malaysia with her husband.
The grandmother was found dead by Mr Halliwell at the bottom of her stairs in her £200,000 home after sending him messages the night before that ‘she would be gone by the morning’.
Mr Halliwell told the inquest at Bolton Coroners Court: “I would say that we had the close to perfect family.
“Throughout most of her life Sharon enjoyed relative good health.
“She did have problems with OCD but did seek treatment for her condition. She suffered anxiety and depression which became worse then the girls left the family home.
“She had issues sleeping but didn’t seek help from her GP and instead bought medication from the internet.
“She became addicted to the sleeping tablets. We separated around 18 months ago because of her addiction.
“Our relationship became volatile sometimes however we had been living together. After the separation Sharon moved to a new house on a new estate.
“I do not have a key for that house. I have a key for the garage because I keep my motorbike in there and on occasions she would give me the key to her house but would always ask for it back.
“Sharon admitted that she was addicted to taking the tablets. During this time she did some courses and had therapy to manage the situation.
“In June 2016 she accepted that she was still taking the sleeping tablets and so we went to the drug and alcohol team.”
“On the first night of our holiday she said that she was going to take her own life.”
He said she tried to take her own life on the second day as well but then she “calmed down” and was fine for the rest of the trip.
Mr Halliwell said when they got back he was at her house when a parcel arrived.
He continued: “I asked her to open the package. She did and admitted it was sleeping pills. I told her that she should go to the doctor and they would prescribe them to her. That was the last time I was at the house.
“She had work done to her home and stayed with me for a couple of days. On the Friday she was quite argumentative and I don’t know why she was just arguing about everything.
“It was about the tablets and she left and I didn’t see her after that. She did text me a few different messages.
“She told me she loved me and then text me different messages, one was saying she felt too sick to get up.
“I got a text from her on the Monday night saying that she had managed to keep paracetamol down and that she wouldn’t be there in the morning.”
Mr Halliwell received a phone call from his daughter Levi Halliwell, 26, asking if he had heard from her mother later that day. When he said no they both went round to the property, where they found her and called the emergency services on April 18 this year.
Mr Halliwell told the court he thought his wife should have been sectioned for her own safety after so many impulsive suicide attempts.
He added: “I know the sleeping tablets would have been affecting her behaviour. Her problems could have been identified and then potentially her death could have been prevented.
“She was supposed to have a referral to a psychiatrist but that never took place. I would have thought that she would have been sectioned for her own safety.”
Prior to her holiday, Mrs Halliwell attended an appointment with the mental health team in Wigan and Leigh, and was given an assessment of her mental health by a nurse.
Nurse Joanne Woodcock, assessed her mental health, and Mrs Halliwell scored 28 out of a possible 30 in the Columbia-Suicide questionnaire.
A investigation report showed that there were ‘obvious gaps’ in the communication between different systems, but also that the failure to refer Mrs Halliwell had been taken into account and suitable changes made.
The medical cause of death was given as suspension by a ligature in the post mortem report.
Area Coroner Jennifer Leaming recorded a conclusion of suicide, and explained that she would be advising a review of the communication between the services in the form of a regulation 28 review.