Woman made ‘meticulous’ suicide plans

Joanna Stannard

Joanna Stannard

First published in News

A WOMAN planned her suicide “meticulously”, a coroner said yesterday.

Joanna Stannard, 38, wrote to police on the day of her death to describe exactly where they would find her body in Bagley Wood near Kennington.

She was found by officers on Thursday, March 6 with a collection of possessions, including a skull believed to belong to a dog or goat and a cushion.

Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard Miss Stannard, of Bullingdon Road in East Oxford, had gone to the woods the previous evening and taken prescription drugs and alcohol. A post-mortem examination showed that rendered her unconscious before she died of hypothermia in -2C temperatures.

She had a long history of self-harming and told doctors and friends about suicidal plans. In November she said she wanted to “go to a field on a cold, wet night...and die of hypothermia”, assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said as he read out a statement.

In another statement, Miss Stannard’s housemate Julian Dourado, a graphic designer, said she had become more withdrawn in the months leading to her death but had seemed in good spirits when he last saw her.

He raised the alarm after he found a bundle of letters addressed to family with a note saying they should not be opened until the following day.

Officers searched the forest that night, but could not find her. They returned after receiving a letter the next morning from Miss Stannard giving detailed directions about where she had gone.

Mr Graham recorded a verdict of suicide and said: “It seems like it was a meticulously planned operation by Joanna to take her own life.”

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