Prisoner found hanged had troubled past

A FEMALE prisoner who suffered from a tortured history of drug addiction and criminality took her own life just days into her latest custodial sentence, an inquest has heard.

A FEMALE prisoner who suffered from a tortured history of drug addiction and criminality took her own life just days into her latest custodial sentence, an inquest has heard.

Tina Bromley, 37, was found hanged in her cell at HMP Edmunds Hill, Stradishall, near Haverhill, in January 2004.

Although on an hourly suicide watch, Miss Bromley was said to show no signs of her intentions in the hours leading up to the tragedy, an inquest in Bury St Edmunds heard yesterday .

But prison staff later found her with a ligature - made from a bed sheet - around her neck, which had been tied to the cell window, and letters written by Miss Bromley talking about committing suicide were also uncovered.


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Speaking candidly about her daughter's drug addiction, Anne Bromley said she believed problems started after Miss Bromley gave birth in April 1989.

"She was a happy child and a popular girl," Mrs Bromley said in a statement. "But after having the baby, she lived in an area which was very unpleasant and we were not happy about it. We were not aware she was on drugs as she seemed fine.

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"When we found out, we were a bit shocked but we tried to support her. On the surface, she seemed to be coping. But once Tina told us that she had become so desperate she had committed an offence just to get a bed for the night."

Mrs Bromley said she last saw her daughter when she was living in the Ipswich area in 2003.

She added: "I was aware that she was depressed and on heroin as I found a note she had written saying she wanted to stop taking drugs - but it was difficult as she was surrounded by addicts and dealers. I was not aware of her self harm or any suicide attempts."

The grim discovery of Miss Bromley's body was made by a prison officer.

Although resuscitation techniques were carried out, she was pronounced dead 40 minutes after the initial finding.

Det con Patricia Beamish, who led a police investigation into the death, said: "She had a history of epilepsy, self harm, depression and drug use and there were no suggestions that any other party was involved.

"But at the time, there were no apparent signs that she was feeling depressed or was going to take her own life. But letters found in the cell paint a different picture and talk about her taking her own life and hanging herself."

Prison health care officer David Seabourne, who had spoke with Miss Bromley just hours before her death, added: "She seemed fine to me and her demeanour gave me no cause for concern."

The inquest is due to resume today and last around two weeks.

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