King’s Lynn woman took fatal overdose ‘over abortion’, inquest told

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711

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A pregnant woman took a fatal overdose of prescription pills because her boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion, an inquest heard today.

Cassie Turton, 26, had been dating Michael Fysh for around six months when she fell pregnant with his child.

But her family told the inquest that she overdosed because she thought he would dump her if she refused to have an abortion eight weeks into her pregnancy.

She took 164 propranolol pills, which she took due to suffering from Marfans Syndrome, on Valentine’s Day last year.

The heart condition meant that Cassie had to take one of the beta blockers per day, but instead she ingested multiple packets of the 120mg pills.

Her mum Sandra Hammond-Grant, 52, told the inquest at Lynn’s County Court: “He made it known to her that he wasn’t interested in having any more [children].

“If she did not get rid of it he would dump her. This is why she felt as down as she did.”

But, in a statement read to the court, Mr Fysh said Cassie, a supervisor waitress, was convinced that he was seeing other people.

He added: “She became unwell and sad.”

Mr Fysh said there was a disagreement while at Cassie’s flat where she lived alone so he said he was ‘leaving’.

However, Cassie mistook this for him wanting to end the relationship - when he actually meant leaving the house.

After Mr Fysh left Cassie slashed her left wrist with a piece of broken glass, the hearing was told.

She sent a picture of the wound to him via Facebook private message - where empty pill packets could be seen in the background of the shot.

When Mr Fysh arrived at his mum’s house he told Cassie’s mother what she had done and forwarded the pictures.

Sandra called family friend, Toby Wing-Pentalow, as he lived near Cassie’s flat in Lynn.

Mr Wing-Pentalow came to Cassie’s aid and called an ambulance, but she then disappeared from the house.

After conversations with the East of England Ambulance Service call handlers the court heard how Mr Wing-Pentalow was told once Cassie was located she should be driven to hospital.

But Miss Hammond-Grant believes the time from the first call to the emergency services at 9.30pm on February 13, 2014, to when they got to hospital, just after 10pm, was too long.

In her witness statement she recalled how “time was ticking on” and she was “running around like a headless chicken” trying to help the situation.

After getting to hospital, Cassie collapsed in a heap outside.

She was then helped into a wheelchair by nurses and put in a cubicle and tests were run.

But, shortly afterwards, Cassie suffered a seizure and she rapidly deteriorated.

She went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated and intubated.

Cassie was transferred to Papworth Hospital, a specialist heart hospital in Cambridge, where she died the following day.

Assistant coroner Yvonne Blake returned a narrative conclusion saying she couldn’t rule suicide as she believed Cassie didn’t want to kill herself.

She said: “The deceased was low in mood and depressed due to relationship problems.

“She took a large overdose of her prescribed medication which caused collapse and cardiac arrest.

“She was resuscitated but it was decided that further treatment would be futile.”

Speaking outside court Miss Hammond-Grant said: “I still have my beliefs that if the ambulance turned up and if the hospital would have treated Cassie as an urgent case it would be different.”

A family friend added: “It’s common sense. If she’s taken an overdose and slit her wrists why was the ambulance not a priority.”