‘Loving’ mum took own life on daughter’s birthday after depression diagnosis

A “caring and loving” mum-of-seven took her own life on her daughter’s birthday days after being diagnosed with depression.

Louise Giles, 41, died at home in Reading, Berkshire, on January 30 this year while her husband was at work and their children were at school.

She was found by a neighbour after partner David became concerned.

Ashley Harris told Berkshire Coroner's Court: "I knocked on the door but there was no answer, so I decided to try the rear door in the garden.

“It was shut but I looked through the window and I could see her mobile phone on the side and there was somebody calling her.

“I could see what I thought was Louise's shadow before I realised it was Louise.”

Children Dylan, Megan and Shannon attended the inquest alongside Mrs Giles’ husband and her mum Liz Towner.

None of them had previously heard about the diagnosis.

Mr Giles said: "We did not know about the disorder, we did not know anything about her going to see the GP. All the neighbours, friends and members of the family thought she was normal.

"We went ice skating on the Sunday before her death, I saw no difference in her at all.

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"I was with her all the time, the only time I was ever absent was when I was at work. We spent every evening together and the weekends."

After her body was discovered, more than 30 members of her devastated family including Shannon – whose birthday it was – gathered outside the home.

Police downloaded data from Mrs Giles' mobile phone and found numerous Google searches relating to suicide made before her tragic death.

In a statement, the family said: "Louise Giles was a caring and loving wife, mother, daughter and nanny. She always had a smile on her face and her seven children love her so much."

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Assistant Berkshire coroner Katy Thorne QC reached a verdict of suicide.

Writing a tribute online, heartbroken mum Ms Towner said: "What a wonderful woman you were, now is the hardest thing of all, us all having to live without you here. Never ever be the same again, I hope you are at peace my angel.

"What a beautiful woman inside and out. You should be here with us, I can't believe this is happening. We are all gutted and heartbroken, it's not right for you to go so soon. We are all going to miss you for the rest of our days."

On his own birthday, Mr Giles started a fundraiser on Facebook for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, raising £640.

For confidential support, call the Samaritans in the UK free on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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