Depression led her to take her own life

Hertfordshire Mercury, 5th October 1918


The Coroner, Mr P.R. Longmore, held an inquest at the Town Hall, Hertford, on Tuesday afternoon on the body of Mary Ann Bent (43) of Dolphin Yard, Hertford, who cut her throat with a razor on Monday afternoon.

George Bent, the husband of the deceased, a labourer, who has been discharged from the army, said that he last saw his wife alive on Monday morning when he went to catch his train at 7:15 to go to work.  She seemed as usual then.  She had recently had influenza and was irritable and depressed at times, but he had never heard her threaten to take her life.

Violet Bent, a daughter, said that she was in the house with her mother on Monday afternoon when the latter went upstairs to fetch a pocket handkerchief from her bedroom.  She pushed open the door of her mother’s bedroom and then saw her mother lying on the floor in a pool of blood.  She screamed and ran down into the yard.  Her mother had been poorly lately and seemed very much worried.

Emma Ansell, a neighbour, said she was called to the deceased’s house on the Monday afternoon.  She went upstairs and saw Mrs Bent lying in a pool of blood, and with a razor on the floor.  A doctor was then sent for.

PC Crisford said he was called to the house and the woman then appeared quite dead.  He produced the razor which had been lying open on the floor.  The body was then removed to the mortuary.  Dr H.S.W. Hall described the wound in the deceased’s throat as very extensive and deep.  It was such a wound as might have been self-inflicted.

The deceased had brought her baby to be attended by the witness last week and she then seemed very weak and had said that they had all had ‘flu’ in the house.  The Coroner said that he found that the woman took her own life by cutting her throat whilst suffering from temporary insanity.

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