Wigan borough woman imported fatal substance from Lithuania before taking her own life

A depressed woman obtained a poisonous substance from Lithuania before killing herself, an inquest heard.
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Kelly Walsh, 45, was found unresponsive at her flat in Atherton after officers forced entry when a concern for her safety was raised.

An inquest into her death at Bolton Coroners' Court heard she had looked at websites on how to die by suicide before her death on February 27, 2021.

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The substance – which we are not identifying – is not illegal in the UK, but has a range of commercial uses. It produced no "euphoria"-type effect but is fatal if taken in sufficient quantities.

Bolton Coroners' CourtBolton Coroners' Court
Bolton Coroners' Court

A search of Kelly's flat revealed the packaging the substance had come in, which was sourced from Lithuania.

Det Insp Andrew Wright, of Greater Manchester Police, said there had been a spike in such cases of the poison being ingested throughout 2021 and 2022, not just in Manchester but in other parts of the country.

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At the time of her death, Kelly was in a relationship with an ex-police officer named Andrew Woodward. They were living in Halifax but she had returned to her flat in Atherton on the day of her death.

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The inquest heard Kelly had a previous history of mental health problems.

Det Insp Wright said she had first come to the attention of police when she called in December 2020 to say that, using her psychic powers, she had seen a white Transit van "full of explosives" outside the Trafford Centre. She was subsequently referred to mental health authorities.

Mr Wright said the poisonous substance had been sourced by others from a company in the south of England, who had sold it unaware of what it was going to be used for given its legitimate uses.

He said he believed the rules around acquiring it should be toughened up to make it harder to buy in small amounts.

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Kelly's partner Mr Woodward said the couple had spent a happy Christmas together but, three weeks before her death, her mood had deteriorated.

He said: "Kelly's spirits would tell her to do things, but not to harm himself. She never spoke about bringing her life to an end."

Her mum Christine said Kelly had previously been a high-flying businesswoman and sales person, before she went into business on her own account.

However this had not turned out well and her mental health deteriorated, culminating in a previous suicide attempt.

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She said: "She achieved a lot in her short life. I will always be very proud of her."

Coroner Timothy Brennand said he was satisfied Kelly possessed the intelligence and insight to have researched the use of the substance she took to end her life.

He said there were a complex and numerous series of stresses that underpinned her reasoning, including that she was in a "dysfunctional" relationship with her partner.

He concluded the cause of death was suicide.

Mr Brennand said he would be writing to the Home Secretary about restricting access to the poisonous substance taken by Kelly.

If you need to speak to someone, call Samaritans on 116 123.

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