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Woman, 48, unable to have kids found dead by husband six days after pet dog died

A 48-year-old woman who had struggled at being unable to have kids took her own life at home six days after the death of her dog, an inquest heard.

Retail sales assistant Kim Whitham, who suffered with alopecia, and her 47-year-old husband Darren had been living a happy life with their beautiful brown horse Pebbles and pet dog Lily, the coroner was told.

After Lily’s death on August 24, Mrs Whitham had told her electrician husband that she was going to the stables to visit her horse while he went to visit friends.

However when he returned to their home at Clifton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, he found his wife dead, a coroner’s officer said.

Geoff Charnock, the West Sussex Coroner’s officer, read out evidence to the inquest which said: “Kim had been married to her husband Darren and they had been together for 18 years.

“Kim and Darren were unable to have children and although he was able to accept this Kim struggled and it made her very sad. Kim also suffered with Alopecia and lost her hair.

“This was devastating for Kim but she soldiered on and was very brave. Kim never had any counselling but had been prescribed anti-depressants.

“Kim put a brave face on and tried to remain strong. Her horse Pebbles was a great comfort to her as well as their dog Lily.”

Following the death of Lily, Mrs Whitham and her husband had been out for a pub lunch together on August 28 and Mr Whitham told the inquest he felt she was coping, so the next day he went to visit some friends.

Mr Charnock added: “Kim was going to go to the stables to see her horse. However, she never went to the stables. Darren arrived home just before midnight and found Kim [dead].”

Emergency services were scrambled to the scene where Mrs Whitham was declared dead shortly after midnight.

A toxicological examination found Mrs Whitham had 228mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in her system, almost three times the drink-drive limit, the coroner was told.

Sarah Clarke, the assistant coroner for West Sussex, concluded an inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court by saying: “I do find that on the balance of probabilities this was a deliberate act by Mrs Whitham to take her own life and that this was that act that ended her life.”