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Son reveals family tragedy behind Paignton mum's suicide

By HEPaulGreaves  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

  • Angela Hall

  • Herald Express September 1992

THE son of a Paignton woman, who took her own life after calling the out-of-hours doctor, has revealed the family heartache which lay behind his mother's depression.

Lee Mutch has paid tribute to his mother, Angela Hall, and revealed that his older brother took his own life in 1992.

In March, Angela, 66, was prescribed diazepam and told to contact her GP the next day by the medical professional from Devon Doctors.

She took a single tablet of the drug to calm her anxiety and was left alone at her home on Clifton Road.

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A short time later she was found her hanging in the bathroom.

A coroner’s inquest in Torquay last week found she took her own life.

After the hearing, Lee Mutch criticised a system which, he said, does not provide adequate on-call care for vulnerable people in Torbay at weekends.

Now he spoken about his mother's life and the tragedy 22 years ago which sent her into despair.

He said: "Angela was born in Liverpool, she moved down to Exeter in 1975 where she worked as a carer for people with learning disabiities.

"She moved to Paignton about five years ago with her partner Martyn Hellyer where she enjoyed the delights of the English Riviera.

"She had a part time job in Brambles Pantry where Angie was hugely popular with customers, always a smile on her face and making time for a quick chat.

"She always looked forward to her trips to France to visit me, and her grandchildren. Five or six times a year she would go out and recently went to the Caribbean on holiday with them. She was a vibrant, young-hearted and fun-loving lady.

"She was already planning her trip this year in April to look after the children, for a long weekend, with a new suitcase bought, and clothes for her granddaughter. Everything was planned."

Lee's older brother, Paul, was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 18 and spent the next five years in and out of institutions trying to control his illness.

On September 27, 1992 Paul jumped over a wall at Torbay Hospital's psychiatric ward. He was found hanged in Highweek the next day.

The coroner at his inquest recommended the hospital build a higher security fence.

Foreshadowing Lee's comments many years later, Mrs Hall said at the time that Paul would not have died if proper measures had been in place. 

Lee said: "Angela went to pieces over this along with ex-husband Robert Mutch.

"She suffered from depression due to this enormous tragedy that had just happened. She took anti-depressants for about five years, and then decided to stop taking them. For 15 years she hadn't taken anything."

Angela's inquest was told her anxiety had returned before her death.

Lee said it 'seems very unfair' that his family had suffered a double tragedy in Torbay.

After the inquest Devon Doctors released a statement.

It said: "Devon Doctors has extended its deepest sympathies to the family of Ms Hall.

"In the light of today's inquest, we will be contacting Ms Hall's family again, with this in mind, it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this stage."

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