Derbyshire woman died after “cry for help that went tragically wrong”

The Coroner's Court, Basil Close, Chesterfield, where the inquest was held.
The Coroner's Court, Basil Close, Chesterfield, where the inquest was held.

A woman died after a “cry for help that went tragically wrong”, a coroner has ruled.

Julie Rollingson was found by her partner with a ligature around her neck on a staircase outside her communal flat on Lincoln Way, North Wingfield, on Friday, February 27. She was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital but died later that day.

The 36-year-old had a long history of mental health problems including bipolar disorder.

Assistant coroner for Derbyshire, James Newsman, said: “I have great sympathy for anyone who has to deal with mental health.

“I believe that this was a cry for help that went tragically wrong.”

The inquest heard how on Friday, February 27 Miss Rollingson asked her partner of 17 years, Gerald Sharrod, aged 57, to go to the chemist to get her some paracetamol for pain in her stomach.

After visiting the chemist and the Co-op supermarket, unemployed Mr Sharrod returned to the flat to find that Miss Rollingson was not there.

“I came back out of the flat and passed the stairs and that’s when I saw her,” Mr Sharrod said.

“I panicked and I went to my next door neighbour and I asked him for his help because I did not know what to do.”

Mr Sharrod’s neighbour, security guard, Karl Hickman, said he had been visiting his mum in the morning before returning to his home.

Mr Hickman said: “I was messing about with my printer and then there was this almighty loud bang and shouting. It was Gerald - I did not know what was happening.”

The two men managed to get the ligature off from around Miss Rollingson’s neck, called for paramedics and performed CPR before emergency services arrived.

Mr Hickman added: “It was just like a nightmare. It seemed like a nightmare.”

Police Constable, Gary Stirling, told the inquest that a search of the Police National Computer found a “warning marker” against Miss Rollingson’s name, following an apparent previous attempt to harm herself in 1999.

Miss Rollingson’s three sisters Melissa, Emma and Kelly and her mum Elaine all attended the inquest at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court on Friday, November 18.

Mr Newman added: “I wish I can say that a conclusion of an inquest waves a magic wand but it does not.”

Mr Newman concluded that Miss Rollingson died as a result of misadventure.