Hilary Rees took overdose days after memorial for grandson who died in her garden
A GRANDMOTHER whose toddler grandson drowned in her garden pond while after she passed out drunk on a sofa died of a fatal overdose, an inquest has heard.
Hilary Rees, 45, was found dead in May, two days after a memorial service to mark what would have been Daniel Rees-Smith’s fourth birthday, Flax Bourton coroners court heard yesterday.
She had told relatives she would be “better off dead” before taking a cocktail of drink and painkillers, the inquest heard.
In June 2010 Ms Rees had been left in charge of two-year-old Daniel while his parents were drinking at a nearby pub.
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She had consumed eight pints of cider and was asleep when her daughter Charlotte Rees-Smith, 20, and Daniel’s father Andrew Marshall, 22, returned to her Hanham home to find Daniel face down in the pond.
Ms Rees and Daniel’s parents were later given suspended prison sentences after admitting child neglect over a 13-month period.
The inquest was told that Rees had a history of alcohol and psychological problems and had tried to take an overdose in April.
Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing recorded a narrative verdict. He said: “Hilary Rees was found dead at her home address on May 7. She had a known history of drug and alcohol abuse and the GP refers to a known suicide attempt.”
After the inquest Ms Rees’ son Josh Rees-Smith said his mum was deeply loved and would be deeply missed. He said: “My sister and I are really deeply upset about the fact we have now lost so many family members in such a short amount of time. We are gutted mum can’t see her new eight-month-old grandson grow up and spend his first Christmas with his family.
“She did a good job raising me and my sister regardless of any demons she had in regards to drinking.”