Inquest Held Into Chiswick PR Woman's Death

Anna Sargent had used drug bought online to help her alcoholism


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An inquest has heard details about the death of Chiswick PR executive Anna Sargent who was found near Hammersmith Bridge last year.

Anna Sargent (36) had become dependent on the drug Baclofen which she purchased online in a bid to tackle her alcoholism, the inquest heard.

She had last been seen alive in September 2012 as she left Charing Cross Hospital where she was being treated for anxiety attacks. Prior to that she had been a patient at the Priory Hospital where she was admitted following an overdose of the drug Baclofen.

During her PR career she had worked for the BBC and other large corporations.

Police launched an appeal for information after she went missing. Her body was found eight days later.

The coroner said that the medical cause of Anna's death was drowning. He described it as "a very unhappy tale".

Ms Sargent had a history of depression during her teenage years and struggled with alcohol use. She had discovered baclofen during online research and used it to try to stop her addiction to alcohol.

The drug has a number of withdrawal symptoms including hallucinations and insomnia.

Her parents have criticised staff at the Priory for the way their daughter's treatment was managed during her withdrawal from the drug.

David and Margaret Sargent have created a Memory Space on the Mind charity website to raise money for mental health.

They said that Anna had had an idyllic childhood in the Kentish countryside riding her pony Candy. 

After school and university she had developed a successful career in PR, working with law and property firms, which enabled her to buy her own flat and provide a home for her cat Abbi. 

"Despite having loyal friends and a loving and supportive family it was not enough to meet the challenges she faced caused by her mental ill health.

"In her endless quest to find a cure for her depression and misuse of alcohol, she discovered the drug Baclofen. Because of the mismanagement of withdrawing from this inappropriate drug, she took her own life. She is now at peace but we are bereft," they say.


July 10, 2013