A young mother-of-two killed herself just minutes after she sent a harrowing eight-minute video message to her Royal Marine boyfriend explaining why she was giving up her battle against her ‘demon’ depression.
Amie Collier, 33, said it would be unlikely Anthony Clay would ever be able to understand the full extent of her illness and said she felt like a ‘bad mum’ due to her condition.
She accompanied the heartbreaking video with a text to Mr Clay saying: ‘Please forgive me for leaving my children. Tell them I love them so much but that mummy’s head got too sad. Please make sure they are well looked after and my mum is kept safe and well.’
Mr Clay, who was shopping with the couple’s young daughter for a suit and swimwear for Ms Collier, raced home after seeing the text.
Ms Collier, who was a PR executive for a recruitment firm, was taken to hospital but died six days later. It emerged the video which had a large file size only arrived on his phone after he made the tragic discovery on July 16 this year.
At an inquest at Bolton, Greater Manchester, Mr Clay wept as the eight minute video message was read out by a coroner.
In the footage Ms Collier, from Wigan, said: ‘You don’t think you could ever understand what depression is, like massive depression.
‘I have tried everything but it doesn’t go away. The worst thing someone can tell you is to ‘cheer up and stop being sad.’ You do want to stop but you can’t do that. I have tried – I have tried everything.
‘You’re constantly reminded that you’re a bad mum because someone is better.. I don’t know where the demon has come from, I don’t know where it started – I just know I’m a sorry case. I haven’t felt good about myself for a long time and it is not easy to get up in the morning.
‘I just love the kids so much and I just want people to know it is going to kill them.’
The hearing was told Ms Collier had been grieving over the death of her stepfather named only as Graham. She had been getting counselling via the Marines but she was drinking heavily at home.
Mr Clay told the hearing: ‘Behind closed doors there was times where she would just drink and drink and it did concern me to the point where I said: ‘Amie – you’re drinking too much.’ That would end up in an altercation and sometimes I would assess the situation and would probably have a little drink to align myself with her.
‘We had spoken about numerous things that have happened over the course of time. Sometimes it was very much a case of she put a face on for the world. Everywhere she would go, she would be the heart and the soul of the party.
‘She was the star who walked in the room but I knew from living alongside her that smile wasn’t always the case.
‘Her friend did mention when she was in hospital she wasn’t 100 percent after her son was born. When her daughter came along she was very happy but it seemed to be a little bit over time went by she just wasn’t where she was prior to the birth.
‘I had a conversation with her father in France and he said when Amie went to visit him there was a woman who suffered with postnatal depression herself. From that she had a conversation with Amie and that when she got back to the UK she needed to pursue the avenues to have that looked into.
‘She had researched what to do and to go and speak to someone – but when she spoke sometimes she was just her strong self. I didn’t feel by looking at her that anything like that was an issue.
‘There was just times where she would feel a little bit down, later on down the line she mentioned something to us and then went and spoke to a doctor.. Some days she would drink I would never see any issues – other times with drinking it was just drinking, drinking two bottles of wine and then she was looking for a third. Sometimes I would just flat out say no and then it would end up me and her rowing.
‘It ebbed and flowed throughout the time we were together. Amie approached me and said that she wanted to go for counselling. I approached my hierarchy in the Marines at which point the Marines agreed the sessions and provided them.
‘I went by myself but after that I went away on rotation and Amie went alone. Our neighbour next door told us she found Amie crying on the decking outside the back of the house.’
He added: ‘I spoke to Amie by phone and she said she didn’t realise how close Graham was to her. She said Graham was always there and he would always help her. She said he was always on hand like the father figure. I didn’t realise how Graham’s passing would affect her.
‘As soon as we got back Amie said ‘will you just take our daughter out for a bit’ and that she just wanted a minute to herself. I thought it was fair enough as she worked full time and looked after the kids as well. The next day we were in Superdry at the Trafford Centre when I got the text from Amie.
‘I bundled my daughter under my arm, got in the car and went back. It is supposed to take 40 minutes I think I got back in about 25. I phoned my dad as I thought that would be the quickest means to get back to the house.
‘The keys were in the door when we got back and my daughter was just following me as I went round into the back garden. I rang the police as my thoughts were she’s not in the house.
‘My marine training in terms of preservation of life kicked in and I did CPR on Amy.’
A statement from an unnamed GP said Ms Collier had attended the surgery in relation to anxiety and low mood on four occasions and was prescribed anti-depressants.
On July 1 she had an appointment in which she indicated she was having some thoughts of self-harm but ‘wouldn’t do it as the children were a protecting factor.’
She was due to visit his father in France and even had her bags packed.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner Catherine Cundy said: ‘Amie presented something of a mixed picture to those closest to her. She had clearly experienced the loss of her step-father but was making active plans to visit her father in France.
‘On July 16 she sent her daughter off to the Trafford Centre as her partner needed to buy a suit. She messaged him asking to buy a swimming costume and he sent her pictures of ones she might want. Within a matter of minutes she sent a message asking for forgiveness, asking him to make sure her mother was safe and well.
‘He drove back at speed, she didn’t want him to come home, the phone went dead during the course of that contact. I’m satisfied that her video message indicated that events going back many years had led to her depression with which she felt she could no longer cope.’