A British backpacker has killed herself unintentionally after trying to scare her boyfriend following a “silly row”. Abigail Brown, 26, had been out partying with partner James Brum in Phuket, Thailand where the couple then lived. She returned alone to their apartment “in a huff” after the two argued, an inquest has heard.
Upon returning, Brown – who has been described as “fun-loving” and “gregarious” – hung herself. However, it is believed that she didn’t do so with the intention of taking her life. Her mother, Jane Rowland, 50, said she believed it was “only to frighten him or upset him or make him realise how upset she was in that moment”.
Brum, 30, returned to the apartment on January 7 this year after giving his girlfriend three hours to “cool off”, the coroner said. When he got back he found Brown unconscious. Speaking of the phone call she received from Brum, Brown’s mother told the inquest: “James said ‘Abi is gone. We had a silly row, she went back to the room. She hung herself. She’s died’.”
He said [the row] was nothing. They did not really row. I did not see them all the time but they had a whole future planned. That night she had too much to drink. She had gone back in a huff. I know in her mind she thought he was going to follow her back, find her and they would move on and never have that row again.
The inquest heard that Brown was physically and mentally fit and healthy. According to her friends and family she “never took her life for granted except in that one moment”. Following the inquest Rowland, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, paid tribute to her daughter’s desire to travel the world. She said: “Abi was a gregarious, fun loving girl with a zest for life. She could be in a moment and take you with her. She was wanderlust, thoughtful and generous.”
Rowland also spoke about the life the couple had been planning to have. “James and Abi were a loving couple, they were going to get married and have four boys. They had a whole future planned,” she said. “I can only come to the conclusion that on that night she had too much to drink, was upset and only meant to make James aware of how upset she was. I truly believe that Abi never meant the outcome to be fatal.”
Coroner Samantha Marsh recorded a verdict of misadventure. She said: “Abi had a happy and bright future with James. The plan was to have four boys, which may have changed after the first one or two. She had a healthy lifestyle and was physically and mentally fit and healthy. As far as you’re aware, she and James’s relationship was a loving one.” She concluded: “I do not believe she deliberately intended the consequence of what she did. I am satisfied there is no third party involvement but I think it went wrong.”
Speaking after the inquest, Rowland expressed her sadness at the life cut short and said that while there is no one to blame, she urged young people travelling to places where there is cheap and unregulated alcohol to look out for each other.