March 13, 2018 02:04:39by

Model was found hanging from fire escape in Hallowe'en costume

Model was found hanging from fire escape in Hallowe\'en costume

A model was found hanging from a fire escape while dressed in devil horns and red body paint following a row with her boyfriend, a coroner heard.

Harriet Penelope Henry, 28, took her own life after winning a fancy dress contest at a Hallowe'en party in Chichester, West Sussex last year.

Her inquest heard the part-time model stormed off following an argument with her boyfriend on October 29, last year.

She had a history of self harming and previous suicide attempts, the coroner's court heard.

In a statement read at the inquest, Josh Mercier said the couple had a volatile relationship.

He said Penny had sent him text messages after leaving his flat in Chichester telling him she was leaving him.

'I've been told things like this by her in the past and it didn't seem out of the ordinary,' he said. 'At 06.22am, she said goodbye. I tried to call her.

'I thought she'd get back in touch once she'd calmed down.'

Psychiatrist Dr Jean Sherrington told the inquest Harriet, known to her friends as Penny, had been treated for an emotionally unstable personality disorder as a result of sexual abuse as a child.

'She would have had distressingly intense feelings which they find difficult to manage.

'Self harming was a way of dealing with those intense feelings,' the doctor said.

Her mother Barbara Stewart-Newell described her daughter as an emotional person who understood and empathised with everyone.

'She seemed to be drawn to troubled characters who she tried to save,' Mrs Stewart-Newell said.

Miss Henry had worked as a model and in bars and coffee shops in Chichester.

Mental health professionals who had assessed her before her death did not believe she was a suicide risk.

Coroner Elisabeth Bussey-Jones said: 'She was clearly a very beautiful lady who touched the lives of many.

'She was clearly in a very low and distressed place at the time she did this.'