Student’s death mirrored her mum’s hanging

A student tragically hanged herself – eerily mirroring the death of her mother seven years earlier, an inquest heard.

Carly Potts, 26, was found in a hotel room where she was staying while working as a dancer to pay off debts.

She was a very caring, hard working and a big-hearted girl. We miss her terribly

Carol Fisher

In the hours before her death, she rowed with a boyfriend before texting friends a string of emotional messages which led them to believe she may harm herself.

They reported their concerns to police who found Carly’s body inside a locked room of The Plaza Beach hotel in Blackpool on July 19.

Blackpool Coroners Court heard yesterday how Carly was three times over the drink drive limit and had taken paracetamol, cannabis and party drug PVP shortly before taking her own life.

Giving evidence to the inquest, her father Ian Farrow told the coroner how Carly had found her mother dead after she hanged herself in 2008.

He said Carly has twin sisters and he feared the girls would struggle to cope after their mother’s tragic death.

Mr Farrow said: “When what happened to their mother, I almost expected a phone call one day to say one of the girls has taken their life.

“The last person I expected was Carly.”

Mr Farrow said he thought Carly had learned to deal with her mother’s death, but “kept things to herself” and “seemed really settled”.

The inquest heard how Carly moved to Preston to live with her grandparents after her parents divorced, as her father was in the armed forces.

At the time of her death she was in her third year of a social studies court at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) and was regarded as “popular and well liked”.

Mr Farrow said he later discovered she had fallen into financial difficulties and had taken up dancing at the Eden club in Blackpool, as well as working in a pub to try and make ends meet.

He told a coroner that he didn’t believe she had problems with drink or drugs but liked to go out on a weekend and “let her hair down”.

Statements from Carly’s friends Sarah Harrison and Mischa Campbell were also read out to the coroner’s court, in which they described her as “fun and caring” and always up for having fun.

However they grew concerned after she failed to respond to them on the morning of July 19, and they rushed to the hotel where they were greeted by police who had already found Carly’s body.

Assistant coroner for Blackpool and the Fylde, Derek Baker, recorded the cause of death as hanging.

Mr Baker said: “I accept the findings I have heard and I accept that there are no suspicious findings, no involvement of third parties, and I don’t believe there were any injuries or diseases that played a part in Carly’s death.

“It’s clear she was a bright, popular and lively girl who was working while doing her studies.

“There was a mention of previous self-harm which occurred some years ago. I don’t accept a significant reliance from that because it was concluded by a visit to the hospital at her own admittance.

“In the days leading to the tragedy, I don’t think there were any warning signs or expressions of intent.

“She texted her friends and her intentions are clear from these messages.

“I’m aware that this type of communication can be a cry for help where a person like Carly would want to alert them and stop her from taking the course she was talking about.

“I don’t think this was a cry for help. She was in a locked room and had come to the decision in her head as well as making a decision to bring about her death quickly.

“I don’t think Carly wanted to be stopped from this and I think she knew how swift death would be.”

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide and expressed his deepest condolences to Carly’s family.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article was the subject of a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation. The article has since been edited to address the issues raised. For full adjudication in this matter click here