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A woman accidentally took her own life after she pretended to commit suicide in a bungled attempt to stop her troubled boyfriend from killing himself.
Healthcare worker Corinne Hayes, 23, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, feared Brian Marshall was about to kill himself and threatened to hang herself at his flat in the belief he would find her in time.
But despite sending 33-year old Marshall a text message saying: ‘If you are going to do it, so am I. Meet you on the other side,’ he was too late getting back to save her.
Corinne – who was godmother to three children – was pronounced dead at his apartment after being found hanged from a door in the lounge. She was due to attend the iconic Manchester music festival, Parklife the next day.
An inquest heard the couple had got together in September 2016 but Marshall suffered mental health problems. Her mother, Mandy Hayes told the Heywood hearing: ‘Corrine had been working as a support worker and had been studying level three child care and had an NVQ in social care. She was kind and sociable and had a heart of gold – she was everyone’s best friend.
‘She had been diagnosed with anxiety but I put that down to the way she was being treated. I thought Brian Marshall didn’t treat Corinne very well.
‘She was paying for everything for him and said that she would move with him. It felt like he was doing it to get her away from us and they moved to Burnley together. She made out like she was okay but I stopped seeing her so much and I found out this was because she was covered in bruises.
‘Brian moved back to Oldham and Corrine decided she didn’t want to live in Burnley anyway and so when the tenancy was up she was going to move in with her friend Sarah. She was staying with Sarah quite a lot as it was.
‘They broke up but got back together in June but he just wanted to use her for a week or two until and then finished it again. She said she still loved him and wanted to work things out. She knew what he was like but she loved him.
‘I last spoke to her when she was going out with friends that night. She had plans to go to Parklife festival the next day with her friend Sarah. She had just got a promotion at work and everything to look forward to.
‘As far as I knew she had never attempted to self harm and she was always so happy. Anything that was said about Brian she would just brush off because she knew I didn’t like him. They had been trying for a baby but he used to get her down by the way he spoke to her about it. She wanted children but not at that moment.
On June 9 Corinne attended Marshall’s flat to discover he had thrown a party without inviting her. The hearing was told the pair argued and the party came to an abrupt end whereupon the couple left the flat and went separate ways.
But the argument continued over text messages and Corinne sent Marshall a message saying: ‘If you are going to do something I couldn’t hack it. I couldn’t live without you.’ Another read: ‘What about your kids, what about your nan? I am going to have to tell her everything, I can’t deal with this.’
Det Insp Kenny Blain told the hearing: ‘At 3.11am police received a call from Brian Marshall who had contacted the ambulance service to report finding Corine in his flat. At the property also were two of Brian’s friends, Jon Shepherd and James Brooks.
‘James Brooks was present at the property when police attended but the fact that Brian Marshall had left the property resulted in some concern. Brooks was very elusive and evasive when being asked questions about Corinne.
‘An arrest was put out for Brian Marshall and all three men were declared suspects at that time. Shepherd and Brookes said there had been a party at Brian’s flat which went on till about 12.30pm. They said that Corine had not been at the party for the first part of the evening but arrived later.
‘Corine’s friend, Sarah told police that she had been with Corine earlier in the evening and they had consumed alcohol before Sarah retired to her bed. Corine told her she was going out but didn’t say where. Sarah said she thought she heard the front door close at about 11pm.
‘Corine had not indicated any intention of self harm and had been excited about attending Parklife festival the next day. Phone records show that a taxi took her to Brian’s address at 12.10am.
‘James Brooks recalls that when Corinne arrived at the flat, almost instantly they began to argue. He said he recalls her hitting him in the face and shouting that he had tried to strangle her and at that point Brian put an end to the party.
‘In a text message to Brian, Corinne said: ‘If you are going to do something I couldn’t hack it. I couldn’t live without you.’ It appeared that Brian had got into her head and had made her very upset and distressed.
‘My opinion was, had he gone too far? My concern was that she had gone into a state and had he said something to her push her to do what she did. At 00.49 hours Corinne sent Brian a text saying: ‘I tell you what, if you are going to do it, so am I. Meet you on the other side.’ Another text read: ‘What about your kids, what about your nan? I am going to have to tell her everything, I can’t deal with this.’
‘After 2am there was no further activity on Corinne’s phone. At about 2.38am cell cite data put Brian back in the location of his flat. Shepherd went into the property first, said he went into the living room and found Corine behind the door.
‘He said that Brian didn’t want to go into the property because he thought he was going to be arrested. I believe that Brian may have expressed a wish to harm himself that night.’
In interview Marshall said: ‘That is what made me keep calling her. I kept calling her because there was something there.’
He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and was not at the inquest. His two friends were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Recording a conclusion of misadventure, coroner Joanne Kearsley said: ‘Corine had so much to live for. She had clearly got herself into a relationship with Brian Marshall who she clearly loved. There were some concerns about that relationship and his behaviour on June 10. I do accept that Corine had been out drinking with a friend and Brian had not wanted her to go to the party that evening.
‘When she did go round it caused a bit of an altercation and there comes a point where they both leave the property. Corine stays within that area and Brian stays away from the property – I do not believe he was in the property when the incident occurred.
‘This is a young girl with no history of mental health issues. I don’t believe this was a young girl who intended to die that night. I think this was a very misguided attempt to him to seek help or get his attention. I don’t accept that she intended to take her life.’
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