Waitress killed herself after cocaine 'psychotic episode'

Waitress, 23, hanged herself in woodland near her home minutes after suffering a severe ‘psychotic episode’ while taking cocaine with her friends, inquest hears

  • Inquest heard how Katrina Fell began to ‘freak out’ and ‘panic’ after a night out 
  • The hearing was told she and friends in the Clitheroe area would snort cocaine 
  • Police found no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement 
  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can call the Samaritans 24 hour helpline on 116 123 

A  businesswoman’s daughter killed herself just minutes after she suffered a severe ‘psychotic episode’ whilst under the influence of cocaine, an inquest heard Thursday.

Katrina Fell, 23, unexpectedly began to ‘freak out’ and panic whilst sat on the sofa after a night out with friends and began repeating ‘I need to go home’.

She hailed a taxi but got the driver to drop her off by woodland near her home in the affluent village of Waddington, near Clitheroe, Lancashire. She was later found hanged from a tree overlooking a river.

The hearing was told Miss Fell a friend of former Apprentice finalist star Camilla Ainsworth had worked as a waitress in her local pub and was described as ‘bubbly and happy young woman.’ 

She had been due to go for a weekend away to Amsterdam plus a holiday to Portugal with family and had also been saving to buy a house with her boyfriend.

Katrina Fell who killed herself just minutes after she suffered a severe ‘psychotic episode’ whilst under the influence of cocaine

The hearing was told she and others in the affluent Clitheroe area would snort cocaine when they went out and the tragedy occurred on November 7 2019, when she had been partying with friends in pubs and clubs in the town before heading back to a friends flat at 2 a.m.

Jaye Nelson, who had been partying with Katrina in the hours before her death said: ‘There were about eight of us just drinking, talking and listening to music. At about half six or seven in the morning I was lying on one side of the sofa and she was sat up on the other.

‘I had my eyes closed and she just frantically stood up crying, panicking out of the blue and didn’t give a reason why so I just tried to calm her down. She was crying quite a lot. I hugged her and just tried calming her down asking what’s wrong but she wouldn’t tell me. I had finished talking to her and calmed her down and she left about five to 10 minutes after.

Miss Fell’s mother Angela Allen who is Chief Executive Officer of a health and wellbeing organisation (pictured left) told the Blackburn Inquest: ‘It was completely unexpected and completely out of the blue’ 

‘I thought she calmed down and was normal just going to go home she hadn’t said anything so I had no clue whatsoever. I know she had taken some cocaine, I’m not sure how much. I would say drugs don’t help and might have caused her to freak out in such a way.’

Miss Fell was later seen outside a Sainsbury’s in Clitheroe getting into a taxi but she asked to be dropped off away from houses by Waddington Bridge and River Ribble at around 9 a.m. She was found 20 minutes later by a passing dog walker and was pronounced dead at Royal Blackburn hospital.

Miss Fell’s mother Angela Allen who is Chief Executive Officer of a health and wellbeing organisation told the Blackburn Inquest: ‘It was completely unexpected and completely out of the blue.

‘I don’t think under normal circumstances without the substances that she took and what had been mixed with these, that she would have ever done this – not to herself. She would have hated what she’s done to herself and she was always so thoughtful of others.

The hearing was told she and others in the affluent Clitheroe area would snort cocaine when they went out and the tragedy occurred on November 7 2019 (Miss Fell pictured)

‘I knew she had done cocaine in the past she told me about it but I didn’t know she was doing it as regularly. It seems she didn’t feel well with it afterwards and would have been on a low but not this low. The only thing I can think is that the drug has caused some kind of psychotic episode.’

She added: ‘Kat was fun, kind, caring and loving and as her sister said light up every room. ‘You always knew when Kat was there. She was popular and I couldn’t have been prouder as a mother she was beautiful.

‘She had a bit of anxiety, I don’t think she realised herself what a beautiful person she was. These days with social media she suffered a little bit from her self worth and feelings of self worth.

Katrina Fell was found 20 minutes later after being dropped off by taxi, by a passing dog walker and was pronounced dead at Royal Blackburn hospital 

‘But nothing that would have caused us to think the worst as what happened… there were just times when she felt a bit down but she would pick herself up again. She felt that she was at the age where she should be planning the rest of her life.’

Miss Fell’s boyfriend Harry Devine said in a statement: ‘We had never had a serious argument and were a happy boyfriend and girlfriend. We had talked about feeling low and it seemed to be worse after big nights out.

‘When out with friends Katrina had a good social drink a good drink along with everyone else. She expressed feelings of regret that maybe she should have gone to the gym instead of and was feeling in a low mood.

‘But I thought she had it all under control. She was genuinely happy and bubbly. There was a time we did talk about maybe not going out as much – and it seemed to be the main reason why she felt low.

‘She spoke to family, friends and had been to the doctors and was offered medication but she declined and felt she could cope. The last text was when I wished her a good night. And in the morning at 1 a.m. and I got a message saying ‘Night gorge had a good night tonight – been fine though gorge. Speak to you tomorrow have just got home’.

‘I want to make the court aware drugs weren’t something Katrina ever mentioned or discussed as a problem. I was aware she had taken cocaine in the past on occasions never on a regular occurrence. Clitheroe is an affluent area and unfortunately cocaine is taken when young people go out.’

Coroner Mark Williams recorded a conclusion of suicide. Police found no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement

A taxi driver who dropped off Miss Fell near the woods said: ‘She got in the front passenger seat and asked me to take her to Waddington or Waddington bridge. I tried talking to the lady but she didn’t reply and I thought she may live in one of the big houses down the side street.

‘I thought this was weird as it was only a field where people go walking and and I wondered if she was meeting someone. It was such a weird place to go out – dressed as she was.’ 

Police found no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement.

Recording a conclusion of suicide Coroner Mark Williams, said: ‘Katrina and a number of friends had gone for a night out from all accounts that appears a good night enjoyed by all. The text that she had sent to her boyfriend saying she was back home I suspect may have felt a bit bad about that the next day but that isn’t any reason to have done what she did the following day.

‘She did drink a quantity of alcohol and clearly has taken a quantity of cocaine.

‘That can sometimes cause her to be down afterwards. Having had a good night out, it would appear Katrina became distressed about something – quite what we don’t know and it may only have been in the taxi that she took the decision to go down to the river bank. I offer my sincere condolences to the family and all the friends and everyone who knew Katrina.’

 

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