Grandmother's Fatal Overdose Because She Was Consumed With Guilt Over Death Of Toddler Grandson

05/04/2013 16:15 | Updated 22 May 2015
Grandmother's fatal overdose because she was consumed with guilt over death of toddler grandsonSWNS

A grandmother consumed with guilt over the death of her two-year-old grandson took a fatal overdose just two days after attending the memorial of his death.

Hilary Rees, 45, was found slumped at her kitchen table surrounded by empty medication blister packs and she had drunk a half drunk pint of cider.

She had told her family she would be 'better off dead' shortly before she was found, an inquest heard.

Two days earlier she had attended the service for her grandson, Daniel Rees-Smith, to mark what would have been his fourth birthday.

The little boy had drowned in her garden pond while she lay asleep inside after drinking eight pints of cider.

She had been babysitting Daniel while his parents, Charlotte Rees-Smith, 20, and Andrew Marshall, 22, went to the pub. When they returned they found Daniel face down in the pond.

Grandmother's fatal overdose because she was consumed with guilt over death of toddler grandsonSWNS

Rees, Rees-Smith and Marshall were arrested and admitted child neglect charges over a 13 month period.

They walked free from court after a judge gave them suspended prison sentences because of the 'heavy burden' they would have to bear.

An inquest at Avon Coroners Court yesterday heard how Rees died on May 5 this year in her Bristol home two days after a family memorial to mark his fourth birthday - two years after his death.

In a statement Hilary's daughter Charlotte - Daniel's mum - said she had received a number of text messages from her the night before her death.

She said: "At about 8.53pm I received a text from her telling me that she loved me. I thought that was strange because she doesn't normally tell me, she told my brother Josh too.

"She sent another message telling me that everyone would be better off is she was dead and everyone blamed her for the death.

"She also told me she wouldn't do anything stupid."

Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing recorded a narrative verdict.

He said: "Hilary Rees was found dead at her home address on May 7. She had a known history of drug and alcohol abuse and the GP refers to a known suicide attempt."


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