Sadie Brinkley Inquest: St Albans teen may not have committed suicide
An 18-year-old mother from St Albans, who was thought to have committed suicide in March, may not have taken her own life, an inquest has heard.
Sadie Brinkley was found hanged by police at her home in Hill End Lane, on March 3. But Herts assistant coroner, Edward Solomons, recorded an open verdict last week, saying that he was “not satisfied to the required standard as to the cause of Sadie’s death”.
He said: “I could conclude that Sadie died as a result of suicide or, indeed, misadventure, a cry for help. But I am not satisfied with that conclusion.”
The uncertainty surrounding Sadie’s death stemmed from a text she is alleged to have sent her ex-partner and father of her child, Andre Gregory, in the moments prior to her death.
Det Con Neil Sutton, who said police were called after neighbours heard the baby screaming, read the text message to the coroner. It said: “Just take care of the baby and tell him when he’s older how much I love him. I’m going now.”
DC Sutton then told the inquest that Sadie included her mother, Lillian’s, phone number so that Mr Gregory could contact Lillian and make arrangements for her nine-month-old son.
But the was incorrect and quoted Lillian’s old phone number.
Mr Solomons said: “It is a very curious factor that the message would have quoted the old number.”
DC Sutton went on to describe the couple’s “toxic relationship”, which had been blighted by incidents of violence.
He said: “What is clear is that she was deeply in love with Mr Gregory and that he was dismissive of her.
“I was also aware of a history of domestic violence. On one occasion, Mr Gregory had been to her address, assaulted Sadie, not waited for the police and was found at another address.
“Then, in the early months of 2015 he was convicted of ABH. This was serious domestic violence.”
According to medical reports, Sadie had a history of mental instability and had, on more than one occasion, made feigned attempts on her life.
The inquest also heard that the family had a history of suicide with Sadie’s father taking his life in 2005.
But Lillian said: “I know that Sadie did not kill herself. She would always let [Mr Gregory] in. There were occasions where he got in through the bathroom window. He was a very dangerous person.”
Mr Solomons told the family: “You have done her proud by coming in force.”
Lillian said she was pleased with the coroner’s verdict but was disappointed with the police investigation into her daughter’s death.
A police spokesperson said that the “Constabulary recognises and respects the verdict of the coroner” but declined to comment on suggestions that the police may re-open the investigation into Sadie’s death.