Witness breaks down

“I CAN’T do this anymore,” a key witness in the suicide death of a 39-year-old Alma Street patient cried as she gave evidence at the Perth coroner’s court this week.

After a couple of days of questioning and cross-examination during the inquest, Sallyanne Doyle broke down exhausted, the room cleared as staff ushered her into an adjoining room where she wept for several minutes before leaving for the day.

“What is this?” her emotional younger sister Chris shouted as she made her way to her distraught sister who was giving evidence into their sister’s suicide in Mexico in 2008.

Ms D died on May 10, her sisters including Sallyanne by her side. The cause of death was septic shock, hospital acquired pneumonia and respiratory distress syndrome.

She was cremated and her ashes spread by the family and children into the Swan River with those of her pet German Shephard she had saved as a stray dog.

Ms D’s family has fought for five years to find out why she was allowed to leave the mother baby unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital where staff discovered passport applications, her itinerary and an overdue Cockburn city library notice for the pro-euthanasia book, Killing Me Softly, co-authored by Philip Nitschke.

Her estranged husband, who could not be named, said he was “blown away” when staff alerted him to what they had found. He said he couldn’t get his head around the fact one of the applications was for their youngest child.

He said his former wife had a dark side because of a childhood abuse.


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