Woman died of gas inhalation

A PHOTOGRAPHER died after inhaling gas, an inquest heard this week.

Claire Richardson, 44, from Hastings, was found dead inside a car in Pett Level road in Winchelsea on February 21.

An inquest into her death was held at Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday (June 24).

It heard that she suffered depression during her life and had overdosed on painkillers more than five years ago.

Dr Elizabeth Grund-Schneider, her GP from Roebuck House Surgery, told Tuesday’s inquest that she had seen Miss Richardson on January 9, just weeks before her death.

She said: “I would not have suspected she was suicidal. She put her condition down to being exhausted from working too much. I referred her to counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy but she said she had had plenty of that in the past and not found it that helpful.”

Miss Richardson’s father, Peter, said: “We told her that she was working too hard. She recently purchased her home in St Mary’s Terrace and was undertaking some changes to it as well. She was a freelance photographer and felt if work was there she would take it.

“She enjoyed her work and felt if there was a challenge she wanted to take it. We did tell her she was burning the candle at both ends.”

Police sergeant David Gill said police received a report of a suspicious looking vehicle in Winchelsea on the morning of February 21. They investigated and found Miss Richardson in the car she rented.

He said her death was not treated as suspicious at the time. Coroner Alan Craze concluded that Miss Richardson took her own life.