A mum found the body of her daughter who had taken her life when she returned home from a country getaway break, an inquest heard.
Ruby Leaity had decided to stay home while her family went on the impromptu mini-break after the first Covid lockdown.
But when mum Mary Leaity got back to their family home in Southampton she discovered the 23-year-old, who had been sacked from her job and ignored by a girl she fancied, had taken her own life.
Ruby had been in a relationship for four years but her mum knew she had met someone else and suspected she wanted to meet up with her while her parents were away.
The inquest heard Ms Leaity spoke to her daughter every day and they talked the night before she returned home.
The coroner was told that the “beautiful” young girl had really struggled in lockdown, had been sacked from the job she loved and the family dog has been put down just weeks before she killed herself on July 23, 2020.
Pc Hannah Kemish explained that she found a note in Ruby’s bedroom which read: “This was no-one’s fault but my own, please wear red.”
The devastated mum told the coroner: “On July 18 2020, me and my husband went on holiday. The original plan was for Ruby to go with us but she decided at the last minute that she did not want to. We had never left her on her own before. It was only for five days but she got more anxious when we went away.
“I was really worried, I can remember thinking she is an adult and we cannot stay with her forever, we cannot mind her forever. She is home and safe.
“We spoke to her every day while we were away, I last spoke to her at 5.30pm the night before I found her, she was asking when we were getting home and she sounded okay. In retrospect, I should have read more into what she said but I did not.”
Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg heard from the heartbroken parent how Ruby had struggled with depression and anxiety for the past 10 years and had attempted to take her life several times before her death.
“She had been sacked from her job, she was let go because she had missed two meetings because she had mental health appointments. She loved the job she was doing,” she told the coroner.
“She struggled badly with the lockdown and the loss of a family dog which was put down on July 7. She had loved the dog, it had very much been a companion for her throughout her hardest times.
“She had also just met someone and I think she wanted to meet that person while we were away. We think what precipitated her low mood on the morning of her death was in a message the woman appeared to not want to talk to Ruby and we think she became overwhelmed with sadness and grief.”
Pathologist Dr Victoria Elliot confirmed to the coroner that her cause of death was hanging due to depression.
Sitting at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, Mr Pegg concluded a verdict of suicide. He said: “Ruby was only 23 at the time of her death, she was an exceptional young lady, funny, clever, beautiful and someone who thought of others.
“She was someone who for 10 years prior to her death had suffered from mental health issues. On July 18 last year her mother Mary Liaty went away in holiday. At the last minute Ruby decided she was not going with them.
“This was the first time that Ruby had been left alone. Her mother had concerns alleviated by the fact she had made plans and was in a positive mood.
“It seems to me that the events in her life, the consequences of lockdown affecting many of those in this country, the fact she had been sacked from her job and the recent loss of her beloved dog as well as something clearly going on in terms of Ruby’s relationship – perhaps she was hoping to see someone else and that had not worked out.
“Ruby was someone with powerful mood swings, it seems to me that she had one of those mood swings on July 23.”
Following her tragic death, family friend Matt Cutting had raised more than £11,000 for the charity Mind in honour of Ruby.
In a tribute online, he said: “Ruby was the kindest, most caring and beautiful human to walk this earth. She put everyone else’s feelings before her own and because of the above she was loved by so many.
“She was always the first person to be there for everyone she knew, through thick and thin, no matter what the situation was. She was not only an amazing human being but an amazing daughter, sister, auntie and friend. She touched so many lives.
“I am personally so grateful that I got the chance to have you in my life for so many great years, creating so many amazing memories. I would also like to thank you for being the perfect auntie to our beautiful Mia, she loves you so very much Ru.
“She will miss you but at the same time will have nothing but fond memories to remember you by. As will so many others. Shine bright and sleep well beautiful angel. We all love you so much.
“She could no longer cope with life’s demons. She fought so hard for so long to get better and was doing so well. Even with all the support around her, Ruby sadly found it all too much.”
*If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email Jo@samaritans.org if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.