United Kingdom

Woman, 26, hanged herself after telling GP she was raped on holiday

A young woman was found hanged at her family home after telling her GP she had been raped on a family holiday, an inquest heard today. 

Rachael Gallagher had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after she was attacked as a teenager during a holiday abroad. 

An inquest into her death at Bedfordshire Coroners' Court heard the 26-year-old was found by her parents at their home in Luton last October.  

Ms Gallagher's parents have since paid tribute to their 'beautiful and funny' daughter and raised more than £4,000 for the mental health charity, Mind.

Rachael Gallagher took her own life at her family home in Luton in October last year 

In the month before her death, Ms Gallagher had told her doctor that she was attacked while on a teenage holiday abroad which had left her suffering from PTSD.

A police officer told the hearing that the night before Ms Gallagher died, she had an argument with her parents Peter and Jackie, but it had been resolved.

The officer told the court: 'Her parents believed everything was okay and Rachael had told them she was going to stay at a friend's house. They last saw her at 10pm. However, at 5.45am her mother went downstairs and found Rachael.'

The 26-year-old was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene on October 9. 

In a statement her GP said: 'She was last seen on September 9. On her visit she explained she had received death threats and that the police were involved. 

'However she did not mention anything about her mental health or thoughts of self-harm. During her visit she mentioned she was raped on holiday in Greece when she was aged 17. 

'She had a long standing history of mental health problems starting when she was only 14, with anorexia. In 2008, she overdosed and in 2015 she attempted to take her own life.'

Ms Gallagher's parents have since paid tribute to their 'beautiful and funny' daughter and raised more than £4,000 for the mental health charity, Mind

Deputy manager of Wardown community mental health team, Adrian Sabo, said: 'On October 1, police attended Rachael's home address for a welfare check as she was not responding to police who were trying to contact her.

'There was an ongoing investigation and she was unhappy about how they had dealt with it. She talked about her trauma in the past which affected her mental health and how she suffered with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.'  

Coroner Tom Stoate recorded a verdict of suicide.

Rachael's father, Peter Gallagher, who attended the inquest virtually, raised more than £4,000 for the charity Mind after the death of his daughter.

In a tribute on GoFundMe, he wrote: 'On October 9, 2020, our lives got covered by the darkest of shadows when our beautiful, funny and wonderful daughter Rachael Louise Gallagher made the choice to say goodbye to this world and take her steps to the next.

'We never in a million years expected anything like this to happen. Jackie and I have found so much comfort in the out-pouring of love from family members, friends and work colleagues that helped with all the dark periods.

'Rach bravely fought against many issues in her life and Jackie and I felt it would be a fitting tribute to raise money for a local charity that would benefit from donations rather any floral tributes in honour of the brightest light of our lives.' 

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