A YOUNG woman who was spurred to become a psychologist after being bullied took her own life, a court has heard.

Lucy Bowers was aged just 27 when she hanged herself in May, in the hallway of the house in Witney that she shared with her dad.

At her inquest yesterday, Oxford Coroner's Court heard how she likely died hours after sharing a happy evening with her close friend.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter described the circumstances as 'tragic'.

He said: "It's a sad case and a surprising case.

"There was some evidence of low mood and self-harm in the past, and some suicidal thoughts, but not a great deal.

"Obviously it was a great shock."

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He said although Miss Bowers was not found until May 20, it was likely that she had taken her life in the early hours of Saturday, May 18.

The court heard she had recently completed a master's degree in psychology, and returned from travelling in Australia with her friend Lauren Baker.

In a statement read out at the hearing, Ms Baker said the pair were in contact every day and had been out with family on the Friday night, into the early hours of Saturday.

She added: "Lucy went home on her own acting normally, had a fun time and wasn't upset."

She became concerned after not hearing from her on Saturday or Sunday, despite them having made plans to meet up on Saturday night.

  • Anyone struggling with mental health or having suicidal thoughts can seek help from charities such as the Samaritans - call 116 123

Ms Baker raised concerns with Miss Bowers's mum Denise Bowers, who went to the house in Witney with her partner, and they banged on the door.

The court heard Christopher Bullock, a neighbour, was in bed when his son told him he could hear banging.

He went to help them and managed to look through the letterbox using a carpet gripper, and saw Miss Bowers.

He called 999 then kicked open the front door.

Mr Salter said Mr Bullock knew, from his experience in the Armed Forces of seeing lives lost, there was nothing that could be done.

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Former Wood Green School pupil Miss Bowers, who was born in Oxford, was described in court as a healthcare worker.

She was last seen by her GP in April, for an unrelated matter, and was said to be 'well and chatty.'

The court heard she had suffered from 'low mood' for several years and had previously been on antidepressants and received talking therapy.

During her dissertation, she told her GP she had not been sleeping well due to the stress.

The court heard Miss Bowers was bullied as a teenager, between the ages of about 15 and 16.

She went to Cardiff University to study psychology, but dropped out after a year.

In a statement read to the court by the coroner, her dad Raymond Bowers said: "Her experience of being bullied was a reason and drive for her to study psychology.

"She decided to go and finish her degree, at Anglia Ruskin University, passed her degree and then did a masters in psychology in Cheltenham.

"She found her time at university very stressful and previously struggled with depression, but she never fully discussed this with me."

The court heard how Mr Bowers last saw his daughter at their home on May 16, after which he went to spend the weekend at his partner's house.

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His statement said: "Lucy appeared normal, in a good mood and didn't raise any concerns.

"She had never attempted to take her own life before and never told me she felt suicidal."

Police did not find a suicide note but Mr Salter said there was still enough evidence to indicate that she had intended to end her life.

A toxicology report found that the young woman did have alcohol in her system, but not so much that she would not have known what she was doing.

No suicide note was found but Mr Salter said there was enough evidence to record a verdict of suicide.

A public Facebook event page, set up to raise money in Miss Bowers's memory, described her as 'beautiful' and said she leaves behind a 'legacy of hard work.'

It states that she worked for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, helping people to overcome eating disorders.