A MUM-OF-FIVE hanged herself days before a court case regarding the custody of her children, an inquest has heard.

Rebecca Ashcroft's boyfriend Billy Moore told the court on Wednesday the 23-year-old had made a number of suicide attempts as 'cries for help' in the months before her death after all her children had been taken into care.

He found her hanging upstairs on February 27 this year at her home on Cabul Close after they had spent hours making notes for the court case on March 2.

Mr Moore added: "She wasn't herself and was down and depressed.

"I remember her hugging one of her son's teddy bears that morning.

"She felt like social services were bullying her and she had her new born baby taken off her at birth.

"She took overdoses on a number of occasions after she was told by the social worker she was not going to get her children back."

Paul Connolly, head of service for children in care for Warrington Borough Council, said there was a 'long history' of social care with the family over matters around domestic violence, mental health difficulties and misuse of legal and illegal drugs.

The court heard social worker Bernadette Woodcock was aware that Miss Ashcroft had been self-harming and had been told she had been taken to hospital after an overdose and after drinking anti-freeze in January this year.

Mr Connolly said: "Rebecca was upset about the proceedings but Bernadette Woodcock felt her mental health deteriorated after she was advised she wouldn't be able to claim benefits for her children any more as a result of them being in care."

A few days after the payments had been stopped Miss Ashcroft was admitted to Hollins Park on January 23 after telling staff she had suicidal thoughts.

She discharged herself 15 hours later against medical advice.

Asha Jayne Lonigro, from the home treatment team, visited her three days later and said she would have referred Miss Ashcroft to psychological services but could not do that as they do not accept people using diazapam.

She added: "There was a risk there but it was an unmanageable risk due to Rebecca not engaging with us."

The inquest heard Miss Ashcroft missed a number of appointments for an emergency assessment before her death and had been taking 100mg of diazapam for anxiety and depression.

Her dad, Rob Ashcroft said his daughter had told him 'if I don't get those kids back I won't be here'.

He added they were upset they had not been told about her other suicide attempts.

A police officer confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Coroner Alan Moore concluded Miss Ashworth took her own life by hanging herself.


REBECCA Ashcroft's parents are hoping for a meeting with Warrington Borough Council to ensure the 'same mistakes' are not made with another family.

Dad Rob Ashcroft, who is now looking after four of Rebecca's children with wife Debbie said: "We were told by the social worker we would have to give two or three up and felt like we were being bullied but then the judge told us to take no notice and only he can decide that.

"She also told Becky numerous times she was not going to get her kids back and that sent her down.

"We can't understand why she wasn't given an experienced social worker given the complexity of it.

"We were told mistakes had been made and got another social worker but since then we found out she was agency staff and has been taken to a tribunal.

"Paul Connolly from the council told us during the inquest he would call us last week to arrange a meeting but we have heard nothing and that keeps happening when we try to speak to people.

"We have never looked for money, we just don't want it to happen to any other kids."