Woman Found Dead After Wedding Called Off

An inquest's heard how a depressed woman hanged herself after writing on Facebook that her whirlwind engagement was over.

Franita Swart-Smith, 30, suffered from a long history of depression and suicide attempts and suffered a relapse of her bipolar disorder due, in part, to her engagement to dentist Frederick Hall being broken off.

She changed her status from being ''in a relationship'' to ''single'' on the social networking site on February 28 this year.

Mr Hall, 36, told the hearing in Winchester:

''We met at the end of last year and after a few weeks we got engaged, basically, and then we went on holiday to South Africa for five weeks.

''It was impulsive. After the engagement she told me she was bipolar.''

He said the couple had chatted for a long time online before meeting and she never mentioned her mental illness, which manifested itself on the South African holiday.

''On holiday she was always up and down, manic and depressed,'' Mr Hall said. ''She suffered headaches and ended up bedridden for nine days.

''My parents were concerned about what they had seen and I had a few concerns myself.

"She did tell me quite a few things about her past - upsetting things - so we broke the engagement a few weeks after coming back from South Africa... and the wedding planned for April.''

The couple remained friends, the inquest heard, and Mr Hall described himself as Miss Swart-Smith's partner.

After the holiday, South African-born Miss Swart-Smith made several serious attempts to kill herself, was admitted to hospital and had to move out of her lodgings in Richmond, south west London.

She eventually moved in with Mr Hall at his house in Knowle, near Fareham, where she was seen by a mental health nurse on March 23. She told him she did not want to be alive but she had no plans to actively seek suicide.

He organised for her to see a psychiatrist on March 24 but she was found by police later that day hanging from a tree less than half a mile from Mr Hall's house.

She had left the house without her mobile phone and posted the keys through the door, and Mr Hall raised the alarm when he returned home from work.

Psychiatrist Doctor Megan Roberts said the breaking-off of the engagement, financial worries about a £60,000 debt and having to move had ''acted to trigger a relapse in her illness'' after a period of stability.

Central Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide.

''I am sure she intended to take her own life and she knew the consequences of what she was doing. No-one should feel responsibility for not preventing this death,'' he said.

Miss Swart-Smith had written on Facebook about the problems with the engagement.

A friend asked her: ''i thought u were getting married?'' , to which she replied: ''yip! me too! he is not sure anymore what can I say.''

Previously, Miss Swart-Smith said she was ''the happiest woman in the world and have a feeling I will be for the rest of my life!''

The wedding had been due to take place on April 23.

Miss Swart-Smith, who lived in London, invited more than 30 friends to her engagement party at Mr Hall's home in Orchid Close, Knowle, on October 30 last year.

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