Open verdict on death of Penryn woman Wendy Pollard who went missing in 2008
AN open verdict has been recorded over the "likely suicide" of a Penryn woman who went missing more than five years ago.
Wendy Pollard was last seen at her home by her partner on April 19, 2008.
Her blue Ford Fiesta was later found by police on a clifftop at Gunwalloe on the Lizard, although there was no trace of the 44-year-old.
No body was ever found, leading Andrew Cox, deputy coroner for Cornwall, to record the cause of death as “unascertained” at the inquest today.
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But he said it was “highly likely” that Mrs Pollard took her own life based on evidence given at the inquest by her son Ashley Fuller and Detective Inspector Ben Beckerleg.
Mr Cox said: “I think it is the view of both witnesses that Mrs Pollard has taken her own life.”
DI Beckerleg told the inquest that a suicide note was found in her car and six other handwritten suicide notes were found at her home after the police became involved on April 20, 2008.
He told the inquest how police had tried to trace her identity through bank records and other personal details since then.
“There was no indication that she was alive,” he said. “I considered all of the evidence both material and from witnesses and concluded that, regrettably, Mrs Pollard did commit suicide and that, regrettably, we have ben unable to recover her body.”
He added that one hypothesis was that her body had been lost to the sea, but another was that it was hidden somewhere on land, as she had secreted herself in undergrowth in a quarry during a previous suicide attempt.
Mr Fuller told the inquest that his mother had made previous attempts to take her own life using sleeping tablets.
After the first attempt, on December 31, 2007, she was admitted to Longreach Hospital mental health unit at Redruth.
“That was when she started to go missing,” said Mr Fuller.
“She was always quite down and she would get quite upset.”
He added that, between January and April, she had tried to self harm and had made another overdose attempt using sleeping pills and another attempt to “go missing”.
“After she came out of Longreach she told me that she wanted to kill herself,” he said, adding that, after the last overdose attempt, he found a letter in her car.
“The letter expressed an interest that she did not want to be around anymore.”
When asked by Mr Cox if the verdict came as a surprise to him, he said: “No, not at all.”
“In April (2008) she was really bad, “ he said. “I did think she was really down and thought she was going to do it then.”
Giving his verdict, Mr Cox said: “It is highly likely that Mrs Pollard took her own life but in the absence of a body I cannot be sure.”
Mr Fuller said: “I always knew it was going to be this way. It came as no shock.”
Usually an inquest into a missing person does not happen until after seven years, in the absence of a body being found.
In this case, permission was granted from the Ministry of Justice to bring forward the inquest date.