London : An Indian-origin woman in the UK committed suicide as a result of suffering physical and emotional abuse from her former boyfriend, a court was told.
Meera Dalal, who had previously sought help from doctors and referred to occasional suicidal thoughts, was found dead at her family home in Syston, Leicestershire in the Midlands region of England in February.
A documentary inquest which involves only statements and no live witnesses took place in a Loughborough court last week.
Dalal’s family and friends are now running a campaign to raise awareness and funds for a UK charity which supports victims of domestic violence, Refuge.
“I still feel very, very bad. It still hurts. I don’t think we’ll ever get over it,” said her father Ashok Dalal, who had found his daughter’s body.
“I just can’t believe that she’s not here any more. I can’t take that. She was a very bubbly and happy girl. Always laughing and joking with everybody. Everybody loved her so much and she loved everybody,” he told BBC.
The family had made a complaint to Leicestershire Police following Dalal’s death and the force was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The 50-page investigation report, seen by the BBC, contains a catalogue of police incidents involving Dalal and her boyfriend dating back to December 2013.
“Following the death of Meera Dalal, the force identified issues in relation to the investigation and consulted the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Following a public complaint in the weeks following her death, the force referred itself to the IPCC, who took this as an independent investigation,” Leicestershire Police said in a statement.
The conduct of four police officers was investigated by the IPCC, but the investigator found there was no case to answer for misconduct.
IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “My sympathies are with the family of Meera Dalal following their sad loss.
“We conducted a very thorough investigation. We regularly updated the family and met with them to discuss our findings”.
Meera had also sought help from doctors and a report from her general practitioner was read out as an evidence at the inquest in Loughborough.
“She was seen by one of the doctors and told the doctor she had recently ended her three-year relationship during which she suffered emotional and physical abuse. She said she had moved back to be with her family and her family were being very supportive,” assistant coroner Carolyn Hull said.
Her inquest concluded that Meera, who worked as a liaison officer for Nuffield Health, a private hospital in Leicester, died as a result of suicide.
Her sister Sonia Hindocha said: “We spoke to many of the doctors afterwards who were really shocked. They all loved her and had a really good relationship with her and they all knew she loved her job as well.
“It’s something that you can’t ever really get your head around. I still don’t believe it some days and it’s just very difficult. It’s like a bad dream”.
The family want to raise awareness of domestic violence and have already raised more than 6,000 pounds (USD 7,778) for Refuge through a fundraising page.
“Meera’s story is sadly all too familiar, with around 30 women a week attempting suicide in the UK due to this issue. As a family, we would like to assist Refuge in their work combating domestic violence.
“While our goal is to eradicate domestic violence altogether, we hope that if we at least reach one person through funds raised, we can take comfort in the fact that Meera’s legacy lives on,” writes Nikkita Morjaria, a friend of Meera’s, on the fundraising page she has set up in her memory.