Woman found in Lancing woodland took her own life

The inquest was heard at Crawley Coroner's Court
The inquest was heard at Crawley Coroner's Court

A former nurse who was due to appear in court over fraud allegations took her own life, an inquest has heard.

Carole Matthews, of Freshbrook Road, Lancing, was found dead by a dog walker in woodland at Lancing Ring on November 15 last year.

At an inquest into her death on Tuesday (February 26), assistant coroner for West Sussex Joanne Andrews said the 56-year-old intended to take her own life and recorded a verdict of suicide after it was discovered after her death she had put aside £1,000 to pay for her funeral.

Coroner’s officer Geoff Charnock told the inquest Miss Matthews had moved to Lancing with her partner Thomas Schmiedl in 2010.

The inquest heard that in April, 2018, Mr Schmiedl had arrived home to find his wife had not come home. He rang police to report her missing and was told she was in custody following a fraud investigation against her.

The inquest heard she had been charged and was due to appear in court at a later date.

On November 12 she was reported missing again. Her body was found three days later. The inquest heard she had died by hanging and that syringes were found.

The inquest heard no notes or letters were found following her death but it was discovered she had set aside £1,000 with the instruction for the money to be used to pay for her funeral.

In a statement read by Mr Charnock, Mr Schmiedl said Miss Matthews was happy, level-headed and good fun to be with, and that she had not seemed suicidal.

He added: “No-one had a bad word to say about her and she will be missed by everyone.”

Mrs Andrews said she was satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Miss Matthews intended to take her own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.

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