Tragic death of Wigan mum worried about her future

A mum-of-two going through a divorce described herself as a “broken woman” the day before she died, an inquest heard.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 3:37 pm

Anne Moss, 49, had mixed feelings about the end of her marriage, the sale of the family home and her future as a single woman.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard her husband Keith had reassured her he would still support her, even when their divorce was completed.

But on January 16, he found Mrs Moss dead on the sofa at their home on Viola Close in Standish.

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Bolton Coroner's Court

She had taken a cocktail of prescribed medication and written notes on herself saying she did not want to be saved.

The inquest heard Mrs Moss decided she would like to get divorced in September.

The family home sold quickly and Mrs Moss was buying a bungalow in Appley Bridge, while Mr Moss and their daughter Charlotte would move to a house in Wigan.

Mrs Moss, who worked at Asda, was said to be looking forward to the move but also had worries about the future.

On January 15, Mr Moss said she was “very distressed” and he tried to reassure her he would “still take care of her, no matter what”.

The inquest heard Mrs Moss paid a “very unexpected” visit to her parents’ home, who she had not seen for some time, at 1.30pm that day.

Her mother Elsie Finch said: “I went to the door and it was Anne. I said, ‘oh Anne, our prayers are answered, give us a cuddle’ and she said she couldn’t. We hadn’t seen her for a long time. She said, ‘I’m a broken woman - no home, no money, no children, no husband’.”

Mrs Moss told her parents she was looking forward to moving house and Mrs Finch offered to help financially.

However, she did seem to be “irritated” that her mother knew she was getting divorced before she told her, the inquest heard.

Mrs Moss left at 5pm and went to see friend Claire Dobbs, who had just read a “very negative, very aggressive” message from her suggesting Mrs Finch knew about the divorce because of her.

She asked Ms Dobbs three times if she could phone her mother to clarify if she had spoken to Mrs Finch about her house move, but Ms Dobbs refused and she left.

Mrs Moss returned home at 5.30pm and she and her husband spent that evening in separate rooms.

She later approached him in tears saying she needed a hug from their son, who lives in Australia, and asked if he would give her one instead.

The inquest heard she sent text messages that evening to two friends, in which she was “fretting” about the future.

Mr Moss did not see her again until around 11am the next day, when she appeared to be sleeping on a sofa, covered by a duvet.

After walking the dog, he saw she was still there and became concerned after noticing how white her arm looked.

Mr Moss could not get into the room, so he raised the alarm with his daughter and she managed to climb through a window to her mother.

An ambulance was called, but Mrs Moss had already died.

Police found she had written three messages on her body indicating she wanted to die and a glass containing the remnants of a cocktail of drugs was nearby.

Toxicological tests found Mrs Moss had taken a combination of medication, including various anti-depressants, sleeping tablets and painkillers. Five of them were at levels higher than therapeutic doses.

Her cause of death was recorded as combined drug toxicity.

The inquest heard Mrs Moss had several health problems, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and facial pain.

She also had mental health issues and was prescribed anti-depressants several times, including for anxiety and depression in 1996 and stress-related problems between 2003 and 2016. She reported having suicidal thoughts in September 2020, when she had decided to end the marriage.

Mrs Moss had been prescribed codeine and tramadol in January 2021 after fracturing her knee, with the records showing she knew not to take them at the same time.

Coroner Catherine Cundy recorded that she died by suicide.

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