Open verdict into death of inspirational dance teacher Suzie Wright, found hanged at King William IV pub in Hampstead, after telling friends of fight with landlady
- Credit: Glass Dance Studio
Popular dance teacher Miss Wright, who “lit up Hampstead with her smile” was found hanged in her bedroom at a flat above the historic pub hours after telling friends she planned to end her relationship with landlady Elaine Loughran, her partner of three and a half years, and find a new home.
The body of Miss Wright, 36, was discovered by Ms Loughran at the King William IV pub, in Hampstead High Street, at around 10am on January 14, Poplar Coroners Court heard on Friday.
Bar staff called an ambulance and tried to revive her but paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Coroner Dr Richard Brittain said that in the early hours on the morning of her death, the dance teacher, described as “a happy and smiley person” had phoned best friend Peter Reeves to tell him she was feeling down after a fight with partner Elaine and was planning to move out.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Reeves said Suzie had a history of being depressed on and off for the last couple of years. He said on the morning of her death, they spoke for over an hour: “She didn’t sound as upset as she used to around a year ago, She told me she been drinking. Suzie said in general she had been feeling down and had been fighting with Elaine again and was thinking of changing the circumstances of her residence,” his statement said.
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He said, although she made a flippant comment about jumping off a bridge, she did not sound serious and had said similar things before.
Childhood friend Myles Roberts told the inquest that Suzie, who grew up in Wales, had texted him in the early hours on the same morning to say that the relationship with Elaine was over and she was going to move out.
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He said they spoke on the phone and had planned to meet back home in Wales the next Sunday, have lunch with her parents and take the dogs for a walk.
He said: “She was upset the relationship was over.”
She told him she had been out with a friend looking for a new places to live. “She was ready to move on,” he said.
He added: “I would have picked it up if she was really upset. I would not have put the phone down. I expected to get a phone call from her the next morning.”
In a statement to the court, Ms Loughran told of the couple’s “perfect and very loving relationship.”
She described how she had gone to Suzie’s room the evening before she died and found her upset and drinking a Vodka and coke and appeared to have been crying.
She said: “I gave her a cuddle and asked if she was going to come to bed. She said no, she was going to stay up and do some work.”
Ms Loughran added: “I knew that she was upset, I feel that this was a spur of the moment thing and I don’t feel she was depressed, if I thought that, I wouldn’t have left her.”
She said that later the couple had texted each other to say they loved each other.
She described how the next morning she went to her partners’ bedroom. She said: “I saw that Suzie wasn’t sitting in her chair or in her bed.”
She opened the door further and saw Suzie’s body.
Staff described how they heard Ms Loughlan screaming to call an ambulance and ran upstairs.
A Post Mortem found Ms Wright’s blood alcohol level was 152mcg per 100 ml of blood - almost twice the legal limit for driving.
Apart from red marks around her neck, there was no evidence of other injuries or any forcible restraint.
Recording an open verdict, the coroner said that her cause of death was “suspension by a ligature.”
He said there was no conclusive evidence that Miss Wright, who “clearly had a very vibrant personality” had committed suicide, or that her death was an accident or that alcohol played a part in her death.
Speaking after the hearing Mr Roberts spoke of his sadness of the loss of such a “wonderful” and “happy” friend.
Referring to the eulogy he gave at Suzie’s funeral at Christchurch, in Hampstead, he said: “Suzie was a great listener, loyal, trustworthy, happy, charming, captivating and a warm person who left her mark on everyone. She was a one of a kind person who enriched all of our lives.”
At the time of her death, as reported in the Ham & High, pupils and parents of Miss Wright, who had taught at UCS school and ran the Glass Dance Studio, at the O2 centre in Finchley Road, spoke of their shock at the death of the teacher who “danced her way into people’s hearts” and “lit up Hampstead with her smile.”