25-year-old left eating disorder clinic prior to death on A14
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A 25-year-old woman left the eating disorder clinic she was being treated at before being hit by a car and killed on the A14, an inquest heard.
Sophie Riley, originally from Northampton, was a patient at the Chimney's Clinic in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, at the time of her death in February this year.
Ms Riley, who was being treated by doctors for anorexia and a personality disorder at the clinic under the Mental Health Act, jumped a fence and ran off on February 16, 2021.
Around 5pm, she was seen by motorists on the central reservation looking towards the eastbound carriageway of the A14 near Rougham Hall Nurseries.
In statements read to the jury by Jacqueline Devonish, area coroner for Suffolk, eye-witnesses described seeing Ms Riley, who was dressed in a black jacket and black trousers, climb over the metal carriageway barriers.
She then ran out in front of a car and sustained fatal internal and external injuries, Suffolk Coroner's Court heard.
Ms Riley's father, David Riley, told the court his daughter had been a "loving and outgoing child" but her issues with eating and self-harm began in her teenage years.
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She had spent time at hospitals in Northampton and Leicester and had twice previously left while detained, Mr Riley said.
Ms Riley's mother, Andrea Fleck, also gave evidence on the first day of the inquest.
She told the jury her daughter was "a kind, beautiful caring girl" and that she had spoken to her on the day she died.
During the phone call around 10.30am, Ms Riley had been "distressed" and wanted to be weighed by staff prior to a Covid-19 test, Ms Fleck said.
She was told she was not going to be weighed and was later taken away from the main building to a therapy room by three members of staff, Ms Fleck told the court.
She then jumped over the fence and staff went out to look for her, the inquest heard.
A number of documents were found in Ms Riley's room including diet and exercise plans and references to "pro-ana" material, Ms Devonish told the jury.
The term pro-ana refers to content, usually online, that promotes the harmful behaviour and mindset that forms part of some eating disorders.
The inquest, which is scheduled to last five days, continues.
For more information and support on eating disorders, click here.
The Samaritans can be reached 24 hours a day for free on 116 123.