Woman took her own life after struggling to sleep

The Coroner's Court in Beaconsfield (credit: Google Street View)
The Coroner's Court in Beaconsfield (credit: Google Street View)
  • Inquest hears Louise Sims shut herself inside her car and set fire to it
  • She had grown angry and frustrated at her disturbed sleep
  • She hand-delivered a suicide note to her social worker
1
Have your say

A woman who became angry and frustrated about not being able to sleep properly shut herself inside her car and set fire to it, an inquest heard on Thursday.

Louise Sims, of Avalon Street, Aylesbury, was feeling tired and low in the month prior to her death, a coroner was told.

She was quite annoyed with the fact that she wasn’t getting enough sleep and at times would be frustrated and it was making her feel low as she wasn’t getting the sleep she needed

Social worker Laura Adam

The 45 year old, who also struggled with depression, was found in the burned out wreckage of her orange Volkswagen Golf hours after hand-delivering a letter revealing that she would be found dead in a car.

She was surrounded by drafts of notes for her family and friends and when police visited her home they found further sets of suicide notes laid out neatly.

Her social worker Laura Adam told the hearing that Miss Sims had hand delivered a note to her office the night before her body was discovered and in it she talked about being found in a car.

She said: “Louise had been doing very, very well but in the last month before her death had been struggling with sleep disturbance. She was how most people would be if they hadn’t had a lot of sleep.

“She was quite annoyed with the fact that she wasn’t getting enough sleep and at times would be frustrated and it was making her feel low as she wasn’t getting the sleep she needed.

“I didn’t see any mania causing her not to sleep, it was more that her mood had lowered due to the disturbed sleep.”

Asked whether she felt the sleep deprivation had directly driven Miss Sims to her death she replied: “I wouldn’t like to say.”

She also told the inquest that Miss Sims had been distressed by a visit to a new doctor, who offered her sleeping pills the day before her body was found,and that she had a ‘deep mistrust’ of the medical profession.

Miss Sims was found on a patch of wasteland alongside a railway line off Blackgrove Road, on the outskirts of Aylesbury, on December 16 last year.

Police who attended the scene described the windows of orange hatchback being blackened by smoke and cracked by the heat.

Detective sergeant Kerry Bradfield told the inquest at Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court: “In the vehicle there was a notepad with numerous notes written out, half done so to speak, like they were a first or second draft.”

Buckinghamshire Coroner Richard Hulett said: “Fortunately, and I think it is fortunate, the fire that was ignited within the car was quite short lived although an accelerant was used. That is fortunate because there are occasions when people suffer a huge amount of physical burn damage which wasn’t the case here.

“What was done seems to have been done in a moment of frustration and anger, done at relatively short notice after the events of that day which she could not accept.

“The letters and the notepad and everything about it makes it very plain that she meant to do what she did, although I have to wonder about the immediate state of mind of somebody doing something which was potentially so terrible for them.”

A verdict of suicide was recorded.