‘Wonderful’ Wigan mum’s death a mystery

Bolton Coroners' Court
Bolton Coroners' Court

Mystery surrounds the death of a ‘wonderful’ mum who was found dead in her home.

An inquest into the death of Jayne Hilton, of Bedford Street in Hindley, has been unable to determine whether the mum-of-two intended to take her own life after she was discovered in her bedroom by police and family members.

The 44-year-old, who was described as ‘a fantastic mum’ who thought the world of her children, had been suffering with chronic mental health problems before her untimely death on August 15, 2018, the court heard.

Following relationship troubles with Matthew Ostick, her on-and-off partner and father to her youngest daughter, Ms Hilton had told family members that she was feeling depressed, but declined to seek professional help.

Simon Nelson, assistant coroner at Bolton Coroners’ Court, read out a statement from Ryan Hilton, Ms Hilton’s son, detailing her long-term struggles with mental health.

“She suffered with depression on and off during her adult life,” he said.

“Her ex-partner took his own life in 1998, she was the one who discovered him.

“His death was extremely upsetting and she struggled to cope for some time after this. She had started to make reference to his name again. She said it never left her head.”

The court heard how Ms Hilton had worked throughout her adult life, but was unemployed at the time of her death due to a operation on her wrist and cataract surgery, both of which had taken their toll on her and contributed to her general state of depression.

Mr Nelson added: “You said you tried to support her the best you could and encouraged her to get help for her depression.

“She would invariably brush it off and say she was fine.

“She couldn’t tolerate alcohol particularly well and it would make her become more depressed.”

Before her death, she told her son that she had not been taking any drugs, however a toxicology report found there to be cannabinoids in her blood from cannabis use, as well as low levels of Diazepam and Quinine, which had not been prescribed by a GP.

The toxicologist also recorded a level of alcohol in her blood that would likely have caused her to be drunk before her death.

Following a post mortem, doctors concluded that the drugs had no direct impact on her death and were not listed as a cause.

In Mr Ostick’s statement, which was read out before the court, he said: “She wouldn’t drink every day, but when she did she would excessively.

“She was a fantastic mum and her daughter was her main focus.”

After confiding to family that she felt she was “stuck in a rut” at her Hindley home, Ms Hilton said her plan was to return to work when her daughter was old enough to travel to and from school alone.In the week before her death, Ms Hilton appeared in court charged with assault following an incident in Wigan town centre.

Ms Hilton, who had never before been in trouble with the law, was arrested after kicking a manager at Casino de Cuba, which resulted in her having an electronic tag.

On the day before her death, her daughter had been spending time with her grandparents and Mr Ostick was staying out of the house, leaving Ms Hilton home alone for the evening as her curfew kicked in.

The next day, when the family were unable to contact Ms Hilton, they called police who gained entry to her house by breaking down the door and found her body.

The house was searched and no suicide note was found at the time but around a week later Mr Ostick discovered a handwritten note ripped up in the bathroom.

Mr Nelson concluded that Ms Hilton died by her own hand, but her intention remains unclear.