Ex-Selfridges store employee took a deadly cocktail of booze and drugs, a judicial investigation hears
Jade Rayner, 28, developed a serious alcohol problem after being humiliated by the man who called her ‘fat and ugly’ during their four-year relationship
A former Selfridges assistant took a fatal cocktail of white wine and antidepressants after being chased by an abusive ex-boyfriend, an inquest has heard.
Jade Rayner, 28, developed a serious alcohol problem after being humiliated by the man who called her ‘fat and ugly’ during their four-year relationship.
She was found dead in her flat in Hazel Grove, Stockport, Greater Manchester last March.
She had gotten help with her drinking, started dating a new boyfriend, and kept a journal where she talked about her recovery.
The inquest was told that Miss Rayner had gone to work for the Kooples boutique in the Manchester store and enrolled in college.
But it was heard that her troubles started when she started dating the guy in 2011.
Her mother Gaynor, who works at the North West Ambulance Service, said: “When Jade started her job, she gained confidence and was liked by the girls who worked there.
Then Jade got into a relationship. We didn’t know then, but that changed for Jade in the four years she was with this person.
She was found dead in her flat in Hazel Grove, Stockport, Greater Manchester last March
‘It was the little things we picked up on. She started at university in Manchester, but had left the school within months.
But she’d worked hard to get it. Her dad and I thought the boyfriend had something to do with it. But she denied it.
‘One night at 3am I got a call from Jade. She was very sad. He had left her with nothing in the middle of Manchester.
“I worked for the North West Ambulance Service and thanks to the dispatch, I was able to get the ambulance off the route and have it taken home.”
She continued: ‘Jade ended that relationship. He tried to reboot it a few times. She said no.
He came into her head and said people didn’t like her. He said she was fat and ugly and she confirmed that he convinced her not to go to college.
He told her she wouldn’t be very good. It was the mental torture he instilled in her and she carried it with her for the rest of her short life.
Jade started drinking to give herself some confidence. The first time we knew it was when she went to the gym and when she got home she had a bottle of water, and it wasn’t water, it was alcohol.
Sometimes I found an empty bottle of wine under the bed. Sometimes she wiped it off and did it quite secretly.
The inquest was told that Miss Rayner had gone to work for the Kooples boutique in the Manchester store and enrolled in a university degree.
She worked for The Kooples and went out on her breaks and had a few drinks and that was how she got through the day.
Even when she got home on the bus, she had a drink. In college she had to give a presentation, and that day she had a complete breakdown.
She started to consume a lot of alcohol. We sent her to several counselors, but it was not exhaustive. ‘
In 2015, Miss Rayner was given a suspended sentence for drunk driving after she crashed her Ford Ka while on five times the alcohol limit while trying to drive home during rush hour.
Her mother Gaynor, who works at the North West Ambulance Service, said: “When Jade started her job, she gained confidence and was liked by the girls who worked there. Pictured: Miss Rayner
At the time, she confirmed in court that her ex-boyfriend had isolated her from her friends and stopped her from going to college, saying he had “ destroyed her self-esteem. ”
She was taking antidepressants for anxiety and depression and said she had since started a graphic design degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Her mother told the inquest: ‘We thought the court had pushed something into Jade and I was terrified of her.
‘But it just got over her and it seemed like it wasn’t what happened to Jade, it was someone else.
She didn’t seem to handle it the way you’d think she would. We did it our own way, taking her money from her, taking her bank cards from her.
But then someone from Jade’s university said this wasn’t the right way to deal with it.
Then the drug and alcohol service advised us to tell Jade that she could no longer live at home. Then we went back to what we said.
‘Then we were told not to do that anymore. We said, ‘If you keep drinking, you can’t live at home,’ which was the hardest part.
She asked if she could come home. So we let her come home. We’ve known Jade before, so it was difficult. We knew the real Jade.
Deep down, we thought there was something wrong with Jade that no one touched. Most people just focused on the alcohol.
We believe that if Jade was suffering from an eating disorder due to mental health issues, if Jade was self-harming, that would be addressed.
‘But because it was alcohol, people just interacted with the alcohol or tried it. She would binge drink. She would put herself in vulnerable situations.
She never had the euphoric effects of alcohol. It took her away from the world for a few hours.
Most of the time, she would completely deny what she was doing. She would say she didn’t like the taste of it. Other times she said she didn’t want to give up.
It was her way of excluding things. We used to say, “Someone will find you dead in the park,” but when I spoke to Jade, I knew she didn’t want to die. ‘
The hearing was told that Miss Rayner was starting to have seizures, was classified as epileptic and hired in rehab, but she would accidentally injure herself while under the influence of alcohol and burn herself once with hot soup after falling asleep had fallen with a bowl on her lap.
She later told police she had been raped but refused to prosecute and it was alleged that she was in a relationship with a paramedic who was treating her.
She was reintroduced into rehab and met a new boyfriend and the couple would plan a future together.
She was found dead in bed at her home by a caregiver who had to help her.
A pathologist said the cause of death was the toxic effects of the antidepressant.
Tests showed she had 287 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in her system. The blood alcohol limit for driving is 80 mg.
Police found empty bottles plus prescription drugs at the flat. Her diary was also confiscated, but it referred to her rehabilitation.
The hearing continues.