Ella Lomas was found by her boyfriend Bradley after they had a relationship “tiff” at a party – her family are convinced she did not intend to die, an inquest heard
A trainee accountant who feared her boyfriend did not love her enough accidentally died after hanging herself, an inquest heard.
Mother-of-one Ella Lomas, 24, was found by her boyfriend Bradley after they had a relationship “tiff” at a party.
In an emotional conversation with her mother in the days prior, Ella had confessed: “My level of expectation of how somebody should love me is too high”.
Ella, of Eastleigh, Hants, had also said: “I do not think Bradley loves me any more.”
Lindsay Johnstone, Ella’s mother, said in a statement: “She had been stressed recently, which was due to various things.
“She was the main breadwinner, a high-level accountant running a home.
“She had plans to do up her address, sell it up and move into another house.
“She had unfortunately failed an exam in January but she had already re-booked it for March 9, she had prepared herself for failing this in January.”
Ella’s mother told how her father, Jason Lomas, had been arrested on suspicion of serious offences and his relationship with his daughter had not been good, which had caused her upset in the days before her death.
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Devastated boyfriend Bradley told the coroner in a written statement how they had met while Ella was working at the Switch Nightclub in Southampton and they had later had a daughter together named Eva.
In his statement, Bradley said: “Our relationship was perfect. We loved the simple things in life, as long as we were together.
“Ella would sort out things like the mortgage, direct debits. I would do things around the house to take some of the pressure off her, cooking.
“Ella had never done anything anything like this to make me worry about her in this way, which is why I think this was never meant to happen.”
The inquest heard how Bradley remained too traumatised to attend the inquest, held at Winchester Coroner’s Court, so had submitted written evidence.
Summarising his evidence, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, the area coroner for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, said: “From the moment they met, they were together all the time.
“He quite obviously absolutely adored her and felt that she was his soulmate.
“He feels he should have put his foot down a bit more to take the edge off.
“He feels that Ella took on too much. He says she never switched off, she was always bringing the laptop to the sofa, she was always on the go.
“Bradley just feels this is a nightmare and one day he is going to wake up and it will not be true.”
Bradley’s statement went on to describe how Ella had been going out on the evening of March 5, for a celebratory work night for her firm.
Bradley had come to pick her up and driven some of her friends home, the coroner explained.
Mrs Rhodes-Kemp said: “On the way home, there was just a little bit of friction between Ella and Bradley.
“It is the usual thing, when you have been out a bit sometimes, she was concerned about something he had said.
“That little bit of tension was noticed, there was not an argument. Then, when they got home Ella wanted to keep talking about things.”
The coroner told how Bradley had opted to sleep on the sofa and discuss the things the following day, while Ella went to their bedroom and could be heard pacing around by a friend who was there to babysit.
Bradley was heard to say: “Just go to bed, we will talk about it tomorrow”.
Ambulance records told how medics had attended Ella’s home, where she lived with her partner, shortly after 2am in the early hours of March 6.
Medics had tried to resuscitate the patient as she was transported to hospital.
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Despite doctors battling to save Ella, she continued to deteriorate and the inquest heard how nurses had told the family to come to her bedside, as they did not have much time.
Dr Benjamin Skinner, a consultant in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital, who attended the inquest remotely, said: “Sadly, despite her youth and her natural good health, the damage caused by the period of cardiac arrest meant that her heart was so severely affected that it was not able to recover, despite everything we had done.
“It only takes a minute or two for the brain to be affected by a lack of oxygen.
“A few minutes with a period when the heart is not beating and no blood is being supplied to the organs is enough to cause devastating and unsurvivable damage.”
Ella was a trainee accountant, working as a client manager at The Wow Company.
She was a high-achiever who was taking exams to become a chartered accountant, despite not having attended university and studying alongside her job.
The Coroner told Ms Lomas’ mother: “I think you have really captured what was going on in their lives and that that stress had built up a bit.
“Just at that point in time she did not feel Bradley loved her quite enough and they went on to have this little tiff, that would have perhaps blown over any other time in their relationship.
“In this case, there were no preparatory steps, there were no notes, there was no discussion, with any family members or friends that this was in her mind.
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“There had been a discussion with mum and mum felt it was all a bit too much at the moment, but nothing to suggest that Ella was this upset.
“It seems to me that whatever it was, a combination of pressures built up, she thought, ‘well stuff it, I am going to do this, I am going to make a gesture’.
“I could be wrong, but I do not see there is sufficient evidence that she intended to take her own life.
“It is more of a gesture or a cry for help. She had so much to live for and I think she thought somebody would come out and say ‘oh gosh’ and then make a fuss of her and then she could have talked about it.”
Ms Lomas’s mother, agreeing with the coroner, added: “She was just feeling needy. She had had a couple of drinks, she was feeling emotional.”
The coroner made a ruling of misadventure.
A family statement supplied by Ella’s mother, said: “Ella is our beautiful daughter, partner, sister, grand-daughter, niece, and most importantly, mum to her little girl.
“Ella was extremely loving, caring and family orientated. She was also driven and hard-working.
“At 24-years-old, she had already achieved so much both professionally and personally and she had so many plans for her future. Ella was not depressed or unhappy.
“Having her own home, a young child, a partner and full-time developing career as an accountant, meant that Ella’s life was a busy one but she managed her responsibilities well.
“As a family, we are 100 per cent sure she did not intend, or want, to hurt herself or die.
“We are completely floored and devastated by what has happened and life for us will never be the same.
“Her love surrounds us every second of the day and she will remain in our hearts forever.
“We would like to personally thank the ambulance, police and medical teams not only for their efforts to save Ella but also their compassion in carrying out what was a highly emotional and difficult job.”