“TELL my kids I love them and I’m sorry,” were the last words of Melissa Castle before she fell from the roof of the Wyvern car park, an inquest heard yesterday.
A series of highly traumatic events during her life left the 28-year-old dependant on drugs and alcohol, as well as suffering from several mental disorders.
However, the coroner delivered a narrative conclusion as he could not be certain of Melissa’s intentions when she climbed on to the roof of the car park last April.
Giving his verdict, coroner David Ridley said because of substances in the mother-of-two’s system on the morning of her death, it was not certain whether she planned to kill herself.
He said: “Melissa has been the victim of a number of episodes of physical and sexual abuse over the years that resulted in her becoming reliant on drugs and alcohol.
“In 2013, she was diagnosed with a personality disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome and a dependence on heroin, cocaine, methadone and alcohol.
“On the night of April 3 and the early morning of April 4, Melissa took a large amount of drugs and alcohol. This, combined with a disagreement with an acquaintance, exasperated her state of mind.
“At 11.32, despite the efforts of police officers, she pushed herself off the top floor of the car park, sustaining multiple head injuries not sustainable with life.
“Due to the presence of drugs and alcohol in her system it is unclear whether she had the requisite intention to take her own life.”
The inquest, in Salisbury, heard details from Melissa’s mother and police officers of physical abuse within the family as Melissa was growing up and that she was sexually abused as a child by a babysitter. After refusing counselling, she turned to drink but in her early teens she was raped while heavily under the influence of alcohol.
She was in a number of violent relationships and in her twenties turned to drugs, most notably heroin and crack cocaine. In 2011, she was kidnapped and gang-raped which led her to become increasingly paranoid, the inquest heard.
She threatened to take her own life several times and in early 2013 she was twice admitted to hospital because of her mental illness.
Despite her problems, Melissa was said to have cared deeply for her two children, who lived with her mother.
The night before she died Melissa had consumed a large amount of alcohol and heroin with a friend with whom she is later said to have had an argument. The next morning she phoned her mother, Hilary, as well as other family members.
In a statement read out at the inquest, Hilary said: “She told me she loved me, the babies and dad. She said she was on the roof of the Wyvern car park so I ended the conversation and told the police.
“When I spoke to her again she said ‘I’m alright. I’m free. I have got to do this as I’m not going to get any better.”
Police attempted to talk Melissa down. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
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