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Swiss Cottage woman killed herself in £3,000-a-night suite at top London hotel

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 November 2013

The inquest was held at the Royal Courts of Justice

The inquest was held at the Royal Courts of Justice

Archant

A “bubbly” young woman killed herself while staying in a suite at one of Britain’s most exclusive hotels, an inquest has heard.

Swiss Cottage resident Tatiana Popel, 26, was discovered hanged in a £3,000 per night suite by a senior housekeeper at the hotel in Mayfair.

Miss Popel, who came to the UK from Ukraine five years ago, booked herself into the hotel for two nights and was due to leave on the day of her death, Saturday, August 3.

An an inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice on Friday, her friend Rui Pinto, a store manager, said Miss Popel was “not her usual, bubbly self” when they met for drinks and dinner two days before on August 1.

She had asked Mr Pinto, whom she had worked under about three years earlier: “What’s the point of life if you can’t get what you want? What’s the point in life if you can’t be happy?”

Miss Popel, of Fellows Road, had seen a psychiatrist two days before her death for the first time and she had agreed to start a course of therapy the week after she died.

Her psychiatrist said she was quite distressed about relationship problems but did not seem to be at risk of suicide.

The inquest heard that Miss Popel had worked in sales, though she did not have a job at the time of her death.

The hotel’s senior housekeeper, Jane Robotham, went to check on her at 1pm on August 3 when another housekeeper saw do-not-disturb signs were still attached to both of the suite’s doors after Miss Popel was meant to have checked out.

When Ms Robotham looked around the room, she found Miss Popel hanged in one of the bathrooms.

Police launched an investigation into the incident because officers said someone could have climbed into the room from a balcony that was left open.

However, there were no signs of a violent struggle in the room and a post-mortem found she had died from hanging. Police said that there was no-one else involved.

Assistant coroner for Westminster, Dr Shirley Radcliffe, recorded a verdict that she had killed herself, ruling that Miss Popel died after hanging herself.

She said: “Little is known about Miss Popel as a person. She appeared to be a happy woman and a generous person. But her psychotherapist said something was causing her a great deal of distress, [including] difficulties in relationships.

“I would be grateful if someone in contact with her family could pass on my condolences.”

For confidential support in a crisis, contact the Samaritans around the clock on 08457 90 90 90.

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