A NEW mum who suffered from severe postnatal depression had considered killing herself and her baby, an inquest heard.
Huddersfield nurse Joanne Bingley gave birth to her daughter Emily in February, 2010, but following a battle with postnatal depression stepped in front of a train near Deighton Railway station just 10 weeks later.
Yesterday her husband, Chris, described the moment his wife told him she was having suicidal thoughts and had even considered crashing her car into a wall with her and her daughter inside.
He told Bradford Coroner’s Court that despite a series of visits from her GP and health visitors, Mrs Bingley – who was known as Joe – did not receive the help that she needed and Mr Bingley said “she felt her condition was not taken seriously.’’
Mr Bingley – who spoke exclusively to the Examiner yesterday about concerns over her care – said the main focus appeared to be on having care at home when she had disclosed that she felt safe in hospital.
Just over a week before her death, her GP had put her in contact with the crisis team who monitored her daily.
Management consultant Mr Bingley said: “She just found they were asking her the same questions every time they visited her.
“She had feelings that she was a bad mother, she didn’t want to be with Emily and that Emily would be better off without her.
“I was shocked when she said she would be better off dead.’’
Mr Bingley described how the condition led her to only get two to three hours sleep a night and left her with “a glazed look’’.
He added: “Joe mentioned that she wanted to be taken away and that she felt safe in hospital, but only one of these requests is included on her medical records.
“They failed to see the fact that she was a nurse for 20 years and she knew what was best.
“I have real concerns about what we were told and the fact that we made these requests and they don’t seem to have been recorded.’’
He then described the morning of Mrs Bingley’s death.
He said: “I have this strange feeling. I wasn’t fully awake and my eyes weren’t open. She was standing at the side of the bed looking at me. She said she was going to go for a walk and will be back.
“This is when I stupidly said to her take a phone with you and when I look back now it was a stupid thing.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself as to why I didn’t jump out of that bed and stop her from walking out, not a single day I don’t go by what should I have done differently.’’
He described later finding a pocket-size notebook which had scrawled across it: “Guilty and I’m sorry.’’
Mr Bingley said: “She had left all her rings at home – her watch, all her personal jewellery she had taken off.’’
Mrs Bingley’s mother, Christine Smith, had also suffered postnatal depression.
Yesterday she made an emotional statement about her “close relationship’’ with her daughter.
She said: “I suffered postnatal depression but my depression lasted a matter of weeks.
“What I went through was nothing compared to Joe’s.’’ She described how she believed Mrs Bingley had become depressed in 2008 following a miscarriage.
“It was the most terrible experience,’’ she said. “She always wanted children and desperately wanted her own baby.
“She was the most wonderful caring auntie to her two nieces and nephew.
“Throughout her life all she had cared about was people. She loved everyone, which is why she chose nursing.’’
After Emily’s birth Mrs Bingley sent a text to her mother which read: “I just can’t stop looking at her – still so young. She is actually mine, so perfect and beautiful. Back and stitches sore but a very small price to be happy and complete being a mum.’’
She described how Mrs Bingley later had difficulty breastfeeding Emily and became distressed but told her mum: “I won’t give up at the first hurdle.’’
Throughout April, Mrs Smith described howŠher daughter had lost her ‘sparkle’ and had struggled with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
She said: “She wanted someone to look after her. She wanted someone to help her look after Emily full-time.’’
She said the keen gardener and Huddersfield Town supporter had lost all interest in her hobbies and had become ‘zombified’.
She said: “We went for a walk and I was holding her hand, but it was like holding the hand of a child – no sense of what we did or what direction we went in and no interest in nothing at all.’’
Mrs Smith moved in with her daughter on Monday, April 26, until she left on Thursday, April 29, to go visit Mrs Bingley’s father, Sam, who is suffering from cancer.
She said she had been in contact with the Crisis team that night and when she called Mrs Bingley to find out how her appointment had gone, she replied: “They’ve let me down mum and I don’t know what to do.’’
The inquest is due to continue today with evidence due to be given by the care workers who dealt with Mrs Bingley’s case.