Driver jailed for killing Fairlight woman took his own life inquest hears

SIMON Watts the motorist convicted of killing popular Fairlight woman Sally Lofill has committed suicide.

An inquest, at Hastings, heard that Mr Watts had never got over the death of Sally which took place on June 1 2007.

Mr Watts, who was 24 at the time, left Mrs Lofill, 50, dying in the road after he ploughed into her cycle in his powerful Mercedes car at Winchelsea Road.

The impact caused Mrs Lofill to be hurled 54 metres.

Mr Watts, who had been drinking heavily, then crashed into a ditch and fled the scene.

He was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving whilst over the limit and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Mrs Lofill worked at the Mermaid Hotel in Rye and the severity of the accident shocked the local community at the time.

Mr Watts died from a massive overdose on anti-depressents at his mother and step-father’s Bexhill home on July 28 last year.

At the time of his prison sentence Mr Watts had said he felt “Immense pain and sorrow” at causing Mrs Lofill’s death, adding that he would never forgive himself for what he had done.

He said: “There is a blackness in me that will never leave. My life has been changed forever.

The inquest heard that whilst in jail Mr Watts was placed on suicide watch after attempting to take his life on two occasions.

At the inquest, mother Helen Watts said her son had lived with her for most of his adult life and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which was controlled by medication.

The inquest heard that Mr Watts often went out and bought cans and drank to excess.

It was told he experienced highs and lows but had been quite positive in the week before his death.

On the day of his death he seemed agitated and went for a walk.

Step father Stephen Pearman said that just before midnight she heard him crashing about downstairs and went to talk to him.

He said: “Simon was clearly drunk.”

A suicide note, several cans of lager and religious material were found at the scene.

Coroner Alan Craze said: “There is no doubt whatsoever that the deceased took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.