Cancer-survivor lawyer rocked by Covid death of dad threw herself in river

A heartbroken lawyer who had recently overcome a brave battle with breast cancer threw herself into a river and drowned after being hit by a number of life-changing issues.

Jane Macgregor-White took her life after going through a desperate time, discovering her father had died from coronavirus before the breakdown of her ten-year relationship.

The mother-of-one was left devastated by the passing of her father Ian, who had caught the killer virus and never recovered.

The adventurous solicitor had been planning a charity trek up Snowdon in his honour before she ended her own life.

During her period of agonising grief, her decade-long relationship broke down which left her in a state of despair, a coroner heard.

In a statement her only son, Philip Bateman, said: “Jane had a happy family life until I was aged seven years when she divorced and remarried.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t work out and my mother seemed to carry a lot of guilt for what she thought she had subjected me too. She was often very fearful.

“At the end of 2017 she was diagnosed with breast cancer but she started treatment in time and she was in remission prior to her death.

“For the past 10 years, she had been with a new partner and this seemed to be a happy relationship.

“Prior to her death, their relationship ended in an amicable way but she found this extremely difficult to deal with and she refused to seek help for what she was going through.”

In his emotional statement, Philip explained to the inquest that the last time he had seen his 55-year-old mother was when they had a picnic together the weekend before her death.

“She seemed to be well, she may have been a bit quieter than usual but nothing out of the ordinary,” Mr Bateman added.

The inquest in Woking, Surrey, heard how Philip was awoken by text messages from his mother’s ex-partner, asking if he had checked his emails. After being alerted, Philip found a suicide note from his mother in his inbox.

“My mother had been found deceased in a river. Her death was a complete shock. I think it was the accumulation of effects, the death of her own father against the background of her most recent relationship break-up, was too much for her to deal with,” Philip added.

Just two months after her father’s Covid-19 death, Jane plunged herself into a river in her home city of Guildford, Surrey, having consumed more than three times the drink drive alcohol limit, pathologist Olaf Biedrzycki confirmed.

Assistant Surrey coroner, Dr Karen Henderson, concluded that Jane had died from drowning on July 8 this year as a result of suicide.

“It is clear Jane had a difficult life in many ways, her personal relationships were difficult for a number of years.

“The ending of her last relationship overwhelmed her to an extent that she felt her only option was to undertake an act and by that act intended to end her own life.”