Woman's suicide hours after fiance's death sparks call for more support

The parents of a woman who killed herself hours after finding out her fiance had died are calling for more support for those who suffer a shock bereavement. 

Leigh and Dawn Robinson have said procedures at the Royal Perth Hospital should be amended following the "avoidable" death of their 26-year-old daughter.

Alice Robinson and her fiance Jason Francis had emigrated from Shropshire to Perth in Australia, which is where Mr Francis died in a road accident in December last year.

Hours later, Ms Robinson was found dead in her car after taking a mixture of alcohol and tablets.

An inquest in Shrewsbury heard she had sent a text to Mr Francis around an hour after she was told he had died in a collision. In her message, she said she loved him and expressed "her intention to join him".

Her parents paid tribute to their daughter on Wednesday, calling her "beautiful, talented and gentle".

They said they believe their daughter should not have been allowed to leave hospital alone after learning of her fiance's death, saying she "died of a broken heart" and was overcome with shock.

Mr and Mrs Robison said they did not wish to blame any individual over her death.

Their statement said: "Alice was our beautiful, talented, gentle daughter and when she emigrated to Australia with Jason it broke our hearts but we knew that they would live and love their life to the full and cherish their time together.

"Everyone who knew them will endorse how unique their relationship was, they were totally devoted to each other."

The continued: "News of Jason's sudden and tragic accident was dreadful. Then within hours we had a second visit by the police to inform us that Alice had died.

"The circumstances contributing to Alice's death, we believe were avoidable. When Alice was informed by a police officer at the scene of the accident that Jason had been seriously injured and taken to hospital she collapsed and was clearly distraught."

Her parents said the police officer allowed Ms Robinson to drive herself and find her way to the hospital alone, adding: "In our opinion the police failed in their duty of care."

They said: "At the hospital in the interview room alone, Alice was informed that Jason had died. Stunned, overcome and in shock she asked for some air and was shown outside. When she was outside, at her request, she was left alone and she ran to her car and left the hospital.

"In our opinion this should never have happened."

Her parents believe both the police and the Royal Perth Hospital are accountable and have asked that they consider reviewing their practices.

Ms Robinson was a fine art graduate who worked for a lifestyle magazine and Mr Francis was a former RAF firefighter who went on to become an asbestos technician in the construction sector.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.