Mum-of-three who slept rough after split from partner found dead in car
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A mum-of-three was found dead in a parked car on her ex-partner’s road, just weeks after they split up.
Gemma Louise Palmer, also known as Gemma Louise Taylor, had been sleeping rough in a Vauxhall Corsa in the village of Brynhyfryd in Swansea, Wales.
On June 22, 2019, her ex-partner Barry Khalil woke up his neighbour Aleksandrs Deiko and told him: “Alex, I need your help.”
The pair made their way to the vehicle in the communal parking area on Llangyfelach Road, Wales Online reports.
Mr Deiko saw Miss Palmer lying in the passenger seat, an inquest at Swansea Civic Centre heard.
It had been wound down flat like a bed, with emergency services arriving at the scene a minute later.
Mr Khalil went to his flat and returned with a bottle of whiskey, the inquest heard.
He told Mr Deiko he "did not want anyone told of what happened and he wanted to deal with it on his own".
According to paramedic Linda Bladen, Mr Khalil said he had not seen Miss Palmer since the night before.
He told her they had split up two weeks earlier and that she had been homeless ever since.
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Miss Bladen, together with colleague Christopher Mabe, looked inside the vehicle and saw a large black handbag containing multiple strips of prescription medication and empty medicine packs.
PC Jenkins, a response police officer, was called to the scene.
In a statement, PC Jenkins claimed Mr Khalil told him: "It's my fault you know. I kicked her out two weeks ago.
"If I find out she's been using drugs, I throw her out and she sleeps in the car. She usually knocks about lunchtime to use the toilet but today she did not do that.
“I went out to check. Because it's a warm day, the window was half open on the passenger side. She was laying in the passenger seat, thought she wound the window down as it was hot. I thought she was fine and sleeping.
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"Time got on and on and come 7.30pm – 8pm, I would check on her. If you want to check the time, you can check the camera."
Mr Khalil was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, but following a toxicology report, and a conclusion that the medical cause of Miss Palmer's death was multiple drug toxicity, no further action was taken against him.
A statement provided on behalf of Miss Palmer's mum, Francis Lorraine Probert, described her as a "normal healthy child". She also described Miss Palmer as "a regular misuser of prescribed medicines and controlled drugs".
Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips returned a conclusion that Miss Palmer had died as a result of the unintended consequence of a drug overdose.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK free on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
- In the News
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