No evidence young mother intended to take her own life, coroner says

County Hall, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An inquest into the death of Maria Scappaticcio was held at the Norfolk Coroner's Office at County Hall. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A coroner said there was no clear evidence a ‘kind and gentle’ autistic young mother intended to take her own life after she was found unconscious at home following an overdose.

Mother of a two-year-old son, Maria Scappaticcio had sent her former boyfriend messages saying she intended to take her own life and filmed herself holding pills. 

But Norfolk area coroner Yvonne Blake stopped short of delivering a conclusion of suicide at an inquest into her death.

In a narrative conclusion, she said: “Apart from these messages and video there doesn’t appear to be any other clear evidence of her intentions or whether she was in such a state as to fully intend her actions as she didn’t appear to be on her medication at the time.”

The 24-year-old, who had been on medication for autism spectrum disorder and had been diagnosed with ADHD, was discovered unresponsive at her flat in Columbia Way in King’s Lynn on August 16 last year.

She died two days later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

In a statement read out at the inquest, mother Kathryn Scappaticcio said: “We have lost our precious beautiful daughter Maria and we are devastated by this.  

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“Everyone who knew Maria is heartbroken. She was the most loving daughter you could wish for and she was everything to us.”

She told the inquest her daughter’s behaviour had changed after she met her on-off boyfriend and their relationship deteriorated with disputes over access to their son. 

“Before she met her boyfriend she had a good job as a kennel maid and absolutely loved it. She also did archery and was a level one coach,” she added.

“She won hundreds of medals for her archery and excelled in her sport. We are so proud of everything she did.

“She was well loved and respected by her archery friends and work colleagues. She had a heart of gold and she would be the first to help anyone.”

A memorial fund set up to remember Ms Scappaticcio raised money for the West Norfolk branch of the National Autistic Society and included donations from members of local archery clubs and Norfolk Archery Association.

• If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123.

Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.  You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.

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