'We were not told our mum was at risk of suicide'

Oxford Mail: James Gulliford, son of Jackie Gulliford, said the family would have reacted differently if they had known everything. Picture: Mark Hemsworth James Gulliford, son of Jackie Gulliford, said the family would have reacted differently if they had known everything. Picture: Mark Hemsworth

THE family of a 61-year-old grandmother, who died after going missing, has said they were not properly informed how at risk she was of self-harming.

Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court yesterday ruled Jackie Gulliford from Eynsham was “likely” to have committed suicide.

She went missing from her home on January 14 during the floods. Her disappearance sparked a massive police search. However, her body was not found until March 15 in the River Evenlode near Cassington Mill.

Oxford Mail:

Jackie Gulliford.

It emerged at yesterday’s inquest into her death, held at County Hall, that she had been discharged from the Warneford Hospital a week before she went missing.

The inquest heard she had been treated at the Headington facility for depression since December after consuming bleach. After being discharged, Mrs Gulliford, a senior accounts assistant at Worcester College for 16 years, returned to the hospital as a day patient but was told to have a day off – the day she went missing.

After the hearing, her daughter Sarah Cornett, 33, said the family was not told she was at high risk of self-harm or suicide until it was revealed in an investigation report released in April.

Mrs Cornett from Witney, who is a former mental health worker, said: “If we had had the information about risk, we could have supported mum in the community. She would have made a full recovery.”

Mrs Gulliford’s son James, 29, said: “If we’d known everything our reactions would have been very different.”

He said he became concerned when his mother was in the hospital’s day centre, in a group painting activity, and talked to her on the phone.

“I said, ‘Should we be worried about you drawing a cliff?’ And she replied, ‘I hope not.’ And that was the last time I spoke to her.”

The inquest heard a meeting was held at Warneford Hospital, run by Oxford Health, to discuss Mrs Gulliford’s release and risk assessment.

The family said her husband Bruce, 63, was not invited but the hospital’s consultant psychiatrist, Dr Olga-Maria Tsatalou, told the inquest she believed he did attend, even though she was not present herself.

Recording a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said: “Mrs Gulliford had a history of psychiatric illness and, although it is likely she took her own life, it is not possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she did so.”

An Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said an investigation was being finalised in conjunction with the family.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Operation clean-up on estate hit by mini whirlwind

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

A CLEAN-up operation was under way yesterday to remove the damage caused by a whirlwind over the weekend.

Firefighters continue to tackle barn blaze near Thame

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

7:55am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Firefighters are still tackling a barn blaze near Thame which closed the A148 for four hours last night. 

Downton’s church set

Oxford Mail: Highclere Castle, better known to many as Downton Abbey

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

ITV drama Downton Abbey came to St Mary’s Church yesterday.

Murder jury retires

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

The jury in the trial of Fiaz Munshi has begun its deliberations.

Disgust as puppies abandoned in box

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Two puppies, one of which was dead, were found abandoned in a cardboard box in the town yesterday.

Morris team is looking to the future with its newest recruit

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

YOU’RE never too young to take up an age-old hobby.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree