James Morrison’s ex-partner cause of death disclosed by coroner

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The former partner of singer-songwriter James Morrison took her own life after suffering from mental health difficulties, an inquest has heard.

Gill Catchpole, 45, was found dead by Morrison at her home in Whitminster, Gloucester, on 5 January this year.

Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard that a friend of Catchpole had gone to her home and found a handwritten note attached to the door instructing them not to come in, but to call the police instead.

The friend then went to the adjacent property, where Morrison lived. The musician, 39, then used keys to access the property where he found his former partner’s body.

Police and paramedics were called and Catchpole was pronounced dead at 9.37am.

Detective Sergeant David Kania, who investigated the sudden death, ruled out any third-party involvement.

“The friend went to the house and raised the ex-partner, who located a set of keys to the annexe house where upon they entered and found the deceased,” he said.

“Upon entering the living room, I saw a series of handwritten notes on the lounge table which were addressed to the deceased's ex-partner, family and friends.”

James Morrison and Gill Catchpole met when she moved in as a lodger into his mother’s home (Supplied)
James Morrison and Gill Catchpole met when she moved in as a lodger into his mother’s home (Supplied)

The officer said there were no signs of a disturbance: “It has been relayed to me that close friends and family had indicated that Gill had been suffering with her mental health for the last year or so and since the split from her ex-partner.

“It is likely that this had a further negative detrimental impact on her mental health which culminated in her taking actions which led to her untimely death.”

Toxicology tests found an alcohol level of 190mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal drink drive limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood.

The inquest heard the toxicologist was unable to determine “whether or not or the degree” to which the use of alcohol had impacted upon Catchpole's state of mind at the time of her death.

The court was told Catchpole had suffered from kidney disease since 2008 and later underwent a kidney transplant.

In a written statement, GP Dr Emma Basker said Catchpole had also suffered from “reoccurring mental ill-health”, including anxiety and PTSD, and had received medication, counselling and psychological therapy.

Gloucestershire area coroner Roland Wooderson recorded a conclusion of suicide.

“It is quite clear to me that, sadly, at the relevant time Gill was in a difficult place mentally,” the coroner said. “It is entirely clear to me that the contents of those notes indicate that Gill unfortunately was in a very difficult place at the time of her death.

“Having reviewed the evidence I have, it seems to me sadly that the appropriate conclusion on the balance of probabilities I will record a conclusion of suicide.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Friends and family members of Catchpole, including her mother, father and step-father, who attended the hearing did not comment as they left.

Catchpole and Morrison had been together for two decades, after meeting when she moved into his mother’s home as a lodger when he was 17 years old. They became romantically involved two years later.

The Brit Award-winning songwriter revealed in 2015 that he had taken time out of the music industry after suffering the loss of his father in 2010, who died of liver complications brought on by alcohol addiction, shortly before both his older brother and 21-year-old nephew also died in the space of a year.

“Spiritually, I had the wind kicked out of me. I stopped believing the world was good,” the singer, who rose to fame in 2006 with his debut single “You Give Me Something”, told The Independent at the time.

He has two daughters whom he shared with Catchpole, aged five and 15.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

Additional reporting by Press Association.