A PROMISING young doctor hanged herself after her partner appeared to break off their seven-year relationship in an angry text message.
Elizabeth Foubister, of St Peter’s, Worcester, had worked in several departments at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital during her training to become a general practitioner and more recently worked
in GP surgeries.
But the 26-year-old was found hanging from the banister of her home by partner Matthew Pritchard as he returned to their house in Timberdine Barns. She had used one of his belts.
Mr Pritchard, a maths teacher, formerly at Haybridge High School, Hagley, near Stourbridge, and latterly Stourport High School and Sixth Form Centre, said he had never meant to actually break up
with his partner, despite giving her that impression during a row via text message.
They had met at university in Aberdeen, Scotland, and she had moved away from where she grew up in Orkney to live with Mr Pritchard in his home town of Worcester four years ago.
He told county coroner Geraint Williams during her inquest that “since becoming a doctor, she was less bubbly and open and I felt the stress of her job had affected our relationship.”
The coroner was told the couple had argued every “couple of months” about the situation, according to Mr Pritchard.
“I would get unhappy, and she would end up explaining what was happening or apologise,” he said.
On Friday, June 22, Mr Pritchard “had a bad lesson” during the day.
“I took my anger out on her”, he said, referring to a text message conversation.
Mr Pritchard said: “I told her that she was making me miserable and I couldn’t believe a word she said. I said to her, ‘have we wasted seven years?’” He sent the text at 3pm, and never got a reply.
Mr Pritchard noticed her uncharacteristic silence at the end of the school day at 3.30pm and left her a voice message saying he “regretted” his words.
Pulling up, he saw Miss Foubister’s car still parked in the drive, and “immediately knew something was wrong”.
When he got home he found her hanging from the banister. Through tears, he told the coroner: “I wasn’t meaning to break it off, I just wanted things to be better.”
Mr Williams said: “There was a history of arguments which caused upset and distress, resulting in her being dismissed by her partner by text message,” said Mr Williams.
“I have no doubt that caused her to take her own life. When a young person takes their own life it is a tragedy for all concerned.”
He recorded a verdict of suicide.