Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Campaigner who fought to protect woods and meadow took own life

A WOMAN who was part of a group campaigning to save an unspoilt Nailsea woodland and meadow from development died after suffocating herself, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the home of Melanie Gould on October 18 last year after her husband Tim found her collapsed in the bedroom.

An inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court heard how Mrs Gould, a dental surgeon, had made an attempt to suffocate herself, and had left three suicide notes.

Paramedics resuscitated Mrs Gould, 51, and she was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary where she died three days later.

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death as a hypoxic brain injury – caused when the brain is starved of oxygen – due to asphyxiation.

PC Adam Clarke, who was called to East End House, at Nowhere Lane, at around 7.20pm on October 18 said Mrs Gould had been found in the bedroom and when he arrived he saw her being put on a stretcher and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Assistant deputy coroner Dr Simon Fox said there was further evidence relating to the case that would not be read out at the hearing.

Mr Fox said: "Whatever the wider circumstances, the evidence is that she took her own life. We have the exhibits of the suicide notes which she wrote. This leads me to believe she did intend to kill herself."

Mrs Gould, born in Tanzania, was part of a group of residents campaigning to save a piece of unspoilt woodland and meadow, which forms part of a bridle path to East End House, from development. They raised £30,000 to buy the site but were outbid by property developer Vince Nguyen, of Land Promotions Ltd.

Mrs Gould had lived at East End House for 15 years and wanted the site retained in its current form.

Plans have since been revealed to build two four-bed two-storey detached homes on the site with access off the bridle path.

Mr Fox recorded a verdict of suicide.

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