Just three days before a mother of two, Sarah Hankins, 47, of Bulford, Wiltshire, was due to appear in court for assaulting her 81-year-old father-in-law, Geoffrey Hankins, she was found hanged in her bedroom by her husband, according to the Mirror.
In 2010, Sarah, who was a school kitchen assistant, and her husband, Gary, sold their property and moved in with her father-in-law following the death of his wife.
Sarah’s mother, Patricia Taylor, told the court that “over the five years she’s lived there, I saw a marked change in her behavior. Her father-in-law was violent and abusive towards her. She said she had been beaten by him on a number of occasions.”
Mother-of-two hanged herself days before court appearance for ‘assaulting father-in-law who was abusive towards her’ https://t.co/pVIwmwgMUC
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Taylor went on to say that her daughter “had become terrified of him to the point where she was scared to spend time alone with him.”
Sources say that after five years of Sarah being abused by her father-in-law, it led to a physical altercation, where Sarah was arrested and charged with assault in March of last year.
She was forced to spend the night in a jail cell, and upon her release, her mother stated that the experience had a “profound impact on her mental health.” According to the Western Daily Press, Sarah reportedly began to “lose weight and was having trouble sleeping.”
Taylor added that “they left that address and moved in with me. She was kept on bail for such a long time that her mental state started to suffer. After she was charged, the stress was too much for her to cope with, and she was terrified of it happening again.”
In fact, Sarah was reportedly too afraid of being found guilty of assaulting her elderly father-in-law and returning to jail that on the morning of November 16, 2015, sources say that she took her own life by hanging herself.
Paramedics were called to the scene, but there was nothing they could do to save Sarah after she had committed suicide. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
However, before the mother of two committed suicide, she sent her husband, who was downstairs at the time of her suicide, a message via Facebook that said “she was sorry and that she was going to join her late father, who had died a short while before.”
But the message wasn’t discovered until after her husband found her lifeless body hanging in their upstairs bedroom.
Following Sarah’s suicide, her husband criticized the court for charging her with assault after attacking her father-in-law, saying that “it should never have gone to court, she should never have been prosecuted. She was just a beautiful person. I think the CPS are a shambles, they did not do their job properly.” Gary went on to say that his father abused his wife for years, but she refused to report it.
“In hindsight, I should have reported him when he punched her a few times.”
According to the deputy coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Ian Singleton, “apart from the text message she sent to her husband, nothing Sarah had done was indicating that she was going to take her own life.”
“Undoubtedly she was preoccupied with the impending court case and was concerned with what people would think of her.”
A community nurse, Susan Maxfield, who had been working with Sarah after meeting her in November, stated that “she was very preoccupied by the court case.”
“She had been in constant contact with her solicitor,” Maxfield continued. “It was very difficult for her to focus on anything else, but the court case. She definitely did start to future plan, and agreed that she needed to work on her anxiety and self-esteem.”
“She denied any suicidal ideas. We agreed to meet before she went into court so myself and my student would be there to support her through the court case.”
[Photo by Getty Images/Joe Raedle]