Carer, 22, who took cocaine to get to her ‘ideal weight’ of nine stone hanged herself when questioned by her motherSamantha Burke, 22, took amphetamines and laxatives to control her weightMother confronted her about habit but she flew into a rage and left houseShe suffered from depression and had previously overdosed on drugs
20:15 GMT, 12 December 2012
Weight issues: Samantha Burke, 22, took illegal drugs in an attempt to control her weight. An inquest heard how she killed herself after being confronted about her drug-taking by her mother
A young woman who took illegal drugs to control her weight hanged herself after her mother confronted her about the habit.
Samantha Burke was so obsessed with her size that she would sometimes take amphetamines rather than eat, an inquest into her death heard.
The 22-year-old also took cocaine in her battle to lose two stone to get to her 'ideal' weight.
A post-mortem examination revealed amphetamines and alcohol in her system, as well as evidence that Miss Burke had previously taken cocaine.
When the hospital carer's mother Janice question her daughter about the drug consumption, Miss Burke flew into a rage, telling her to 'f*** off' and saying: 'I might as well be dead. I might as well hang myself.'
She packed a bag and left home, despite her mother's pleading, before phoning home later to apologise for her behaviour.
Her body was found in a field by a dog walker the next day.
Miss Burke had taken drug overdoses before as she battled with low mood, according to medical reports, but she said she never intended to kill herself.
A support worker had previously assessed her risk of suicide as zero out of ten, the inquest heard.
Charlotte Winfield, from psychological therapy group iTalk said: 'Sam reported being obsessed with her weight. She said: “I know I have a disorder” and reported taking laxatives.'
She told the inquest that Miss Burke lost two stone in three weeks, and had experienced issues with her weight since she was 18.
Miss Winfield added: 'In a day she would have porridge, two shakes then maybe chicken or fish – a healthy meal.
'She is 5ft 5ins tall and weighs 11 stone and had recently lost two stone in three weeks, however at Christmas she put on a stone.
'She has had this problem since the age of 18 and said: “I feel I'm overweight, two stone overweight, and ideal weight would be nine stone”.'
Mother Janice Burke said about two weeks before she died, Miss Burke had started a new job as a hospital carer, around the same time Janice discovered her drug use
Janice said: 'Instead of eating she would take speed. It was a way of losing weight. I just wanted to try to talk to her so we could help.'
She said her daughter had also experienced financial difficulties.
Janice confronted her daughter on July 30 this year when Miss Burke returned to the family home in Andover, Hants, after going for a walk with a friend.
After stumbling, her mother asked her what she had taken.
Depressed: The inquest heard how Miss Burke took laxatives and amphetamines in an attempt to control her weight (stock image)
Miss Burke told her mother to 'f*** off', adding 'How f*****g dare you to say I take drugs'
Miss Burke went upstairs and when her mother followed her a few minutes later she found her packing a bag, adding: 'I'm f*****g leaving. I hate it here.'
She left, only to return an hour later, telling her mother: 'I f*****g hate you. How dare you accuse me of something like that'
She left the house again but at 10.30pm she called her mother to say she was sorry.
Despite the apology she refused to come home.
Her mother suggested getting professional help to which her daughter only said 'no'. At the end of the phone call she told her mother 'I love you'.
Warehouse worker Neil Smith found her body at 6.10am the following day while walking his dog in Rooksbury Mill Park.
Police found a black Mini parked nearby and traced it back to Miss Burke.
Simon Burge, the deputy coroner for central Hampshire, said: 'The evidence in this distressing case is clear; that she died as a result of hanging.
'There is some evidence she suffered from depression and was receiving some support from medical professionals.
'She had financial issues which may have contributed to her anxiety but there is nothing which in any sense adequately explains why she did what she did.'
'There had been a row with mum and mum will torment herself with what 'would have happened if I hadn't had the row with her',' he added.
He told family members at the hearing in Winchester: 'At the end of the day you all have to accept it was her decision and nobody else's to end her life and I can't see how any of you could have done more than you did to support her.
'I suspect she felt ashamed and confused about the way she had behaved and in an impetuous and angered state decided that her life wasn't worth living.'