Haynes, Ada

Haynes, Ada        1920 February 13th

An inquest was held at Fisherton House Asylum, on Monday evening by Mr S H T Symonds, deputy coroner for the city, concerning the death of Ada May Haynes, aged 43, wife of Staff-Sergt P A Haynes, RAMC, Aldershot. She was admitted to the institution two months ago, and as she had suicidal tendencies was kept under constant supervision night and day. Her condition improved and the restriction upon her was relaxed.

On Sunday evening she obtained a sleeping draught from the night nurse (Nurse Elsie Bunsell) and later on asked for another but it was not given. During the early hours of Monday morning, the nurse went to the kitchen in which there was a gas stove and left the door unlocked, although there were definite orders that doors should be locked. Shortly after 4am the nurse went to the kitchen to fetch a saucepan and discovered Mrs Haynes with her head over the gas ring, and a blanket and overcoat over her head. She lifted her off and artificial respiration was tried by Dr Westrop, but without success. The doctor certified that the cause of death was suffocation through coal gas poisoning.

Mr A C King-Turner, the medical superintendent, mentioned that this case was only the third suicide in this institution in forty years.

The Deputy Coroner said Nurse Bunsell had been careless in not observing the orders to keep the doors locked. He returned a verdict while of unsound mind.


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