A 57 year old Lydney woman found dead in the River Severn after abandoning her car on the M48 bridge had been in ‘serious financial trouble’ with unpaid bills and ‘maxed-out’ credit cards, an inquest heard last week.

Jayne Richards of High Street, suffered multiple fractures in the fall from the old Severn Bridge on 21st September last year, the Gloucester inquest was told on Feb 24.

A post mortem found no evidence of her using alcohol or drugs excessively prior to her death and she had no known mental health problems, said assistant Gloucestershire Coroner Roland Wooderson.

He recorded a narrative conclusion, saying “She was found in the River Severn. She may have fallen from the M48 bridge into the river. The police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances. She did not have any mental health condition diagnosed.”

The inquest heard that Ms Richards, who lived alone, was reported missing in the early hours of September 21 after her car was found in lane one of the M48 on the bridge with the keys in the ignition and the engine running.

Police went to her home and discovered texts on her phone which showed she was ‘in serious financial trouble, missing payments off a number of bills and maxing out her credit cards,” stated Sgt George Tilling.

“She lived alone, she had struggled with the death of her parents and she had not seen her brother for a considerable period,” stated the officer.

“A search was launched. She was later found in the Severn, three miles upriver from the bridge.”

A post mortem revealed she had serious chest injuries including multiple rib fractures and an aortic tear as well as a pelvic fracture and she died from multiple injuries caused by a fall.

A statement from her GP surgery at Lydney said she had not reported any suicidal thoughts at her last consultation, which was for knee pain. No mental health conditions had been diagnosed and she was not taking any mental health medications.