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Gloucester loved ones of Frankie Warren have spoken of their heartbreak after inquest told of fears about her hair colour

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

MUCH MISSED:  Frankie Warren.

MUCH MISSED: Frankie Warren.

HEARTBROKEN family and friends of a young woman who took her own life after becoming worried about her hair believe it was only one reason behind her death.

Although an inquest heard Frances Warren, 26, known to friends as Frankie, was found hanged in woodland after complaining about her hairstyle, her boyfriend Sam Cotton said newspaper reports concentrating on that issue were unfair and upsetting.

"She had a lot of issues from a previous job where she was unfairly treated, I believe," he said after the inquest on Monday.

"There was another issue of us moving back with our parents so we could save to go travelling, which she found hard.

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"She was the most bright, cheerful, helpful person – depression affects millions of people and she was one of them.

"It was heartbreaking at the inquest, it was a very hard day. It was very emotional."

The inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court in Bristol heard she had made a number of desperate phone calls to hairdresser Kelly Hill on the day she died and sent more than 50 texts asking for an appointment.

Ms Hill managed to fit her in and dyed her bleached blonde hair brown but Miss Warren still complained she "hated it" and disappeared in her car hours later, the inquest heard.

She was reported missing by her family on May 29 last year when she failed to return home and was not answering telephone calls. Police found her body on May 31 in Sedgley, in the West Midlands, 80 miles from her Thornbury home.

Mr Cotton, whose mum Maxine lives in Kingsway, said in a written statement to the inquest: "Throughout the two months leading up to her death she had problems with her hair.

"She changed her colour four or five times and had had it re-coloured since March but was uncontrollably upset and wouldn't listen when I said it was OK.

"It took over her life – she was really worried."

The inquest heard Miss Warren had become worried about her hair just weeks after her older sister's wedding in January last year. In a statement read out in court her friend Victoria McCullogh said: "I recall her ringing me and saying it had gone wrong and she said 'It has gone ginger, hasn't it?'.

"She was crying but I was not overly concerned because reactions like this were not over the top for her."

Ms McCullogh said her friend had then had her hair re-done on two more occasions but was still not happy.

She also visited another hair salon on two occasions but remained upset.

Ms McCullogh added: "She was still clearly not happy. She said she didn't want to be here, but I didn't think she was suicidal."

A few weeks later Miss Warren texted her friend saying: "I really don't feel good about anything. It is all taking its toll with my hair – I cannot cope."

In December 2012 Miss Warren became more down after moving back in with her parents to save money, and she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety but was not believed to be a risk to herself.

On May 29, she skipped work and phoned Ms Hill to change her hairstyle once more but became angry and demanded Ms Hill change it again, but the stylist said she was unable to do so.

Recording a verdict that Ms Warren took her own life, Avon deputy assistant coroner Terence Moore said: "I have to say I am at a loss, on the evidence that I have heard, to identify what it was that changed. The only thing I can say is that she had driven away from the factors that were protecting her – her home, her parents, her boyfriend – and it may be that just moving herself physically from those was enough.

"After the hair appointment she undoubtedly saw herself and described herself as obsessing about her hair, and I supposed from the numbers of calls and texts she made, and the number of changes she made, there was something she strongly disliked."

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