A 21-year-old woman whose body was found on a beach died as a result of an accident, a coroner has ruled.
Blessing Olusegun was found on Bexhill seafront in September 2020 and a post-mortem concluded she had drowned.
The inquest in Hastings heard that she couldn’t swim but her mother said she would not have gone into the sea intentionally.
The family has campaigned for further investigation into the death but police say there was no evidence of a crime.
Following a one-day inquest in Hastings coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The business student from Thamesmead, south-east London, had been a placement as a carer in Bexhill, East Sussex, and was found with her shoes and phone near her. Her body was wet and the tide was out when she was found by a dog walker, the inquest heard.
In a statement to the coroner, Ms. Olusegun’s mother, Esther Abe, said in 2016 her daughter was taken to A&E after overdosing on paracetamol. The incident was triggered by a flashback to being sexually assaulted as a child in Nigeria, she said.
Mrs. Abe said: “She was smiling and said it was nothing serious. She called the ambulance as she didn’t want to hurt herself or die.”
Miss Olusegun saw a therapist in 2017 and was discharged from NHS mental health services that year when she turned 18.
But in 2018 Miss Olusegun self-harmed. Mrs. Abe said her daughter then recovered from her mental health issues.” She was working hard but still knew how to enjoy herself,” she said.”Her favourite quote was, ‘I’m living my best life.”
On the morning she died, at 01:24 BST, she texted her mother to say “I love you”, and then sent the pin code to her bank account as Mrs. Abe was due to using the card that day, the inquest heard.
Mrs. Abe’s statement added: “I know my daughter and I know how she was at that time. She had difficulties with her mental health but she was better.
“I completely do not believe she meant to harm herself on the beach. I think it could either be an accident or third-party involvement.”
Mrs. Abe said her daughter did not know how to swim, adding: “I don’t think she would have gone in intentionally.”
A statement from PC Sally Blick, the response officer for Sussex Police, said: “From searching the body, the scene, and surrounding areas, there had been nothing to suggest any third party had been involved in this matter.”
Consultant Pathologist Dr. Anna Rycroft carried out a post-mortem examination of Ms. Olusegun on 24 September 2020, finding the cause of death as drowning.
Dr. Rycroft told the inquest: “There is nothing to suggest there was third-party involvement that caused her to be in the sea.”
Author: Linda .R. Jones