Blogger Beth Matthews, 26, died after ordering poisonous substance online inquest finds
Beth Matthews, 26, died after taking a poisonous substance in March 2022. Matthews was a patient at a secure psychiatric hospital in Stockport and told staff it was protein powder.
Originally from Cornwall, Matthews was a well-known mental health blogger sharing her journey with thousands of followers in order to raise awareness and help.
The inquest into her death heard that she was being treated on a secure ward at the Priory, Cheadle Royal for personality disorder. The inquest was told that on March, 21, paramedics were called after reports Ms Matthews had taken an overdose. Assistant Coroner Andrew Bridgman told the court that Ms Matthews had "ingested a substance that came through the post, quite quickly became unwell, was taken urgently to hospital where she sadly died".
Paramedic Kate Barnes also spoke at the inquest and said that when she arrived at the ward the staff told her that Ms Matthews "had a parcel delivered to the unit, which she opened in front of them and managed to consume". Barnes was told that patients were allowed to open their own parcels if supervised by staff.
The court was informed that the parcel Matthews had received had "a small plastic, screw top container" inside, and that Ms Matthews swallowed "an unknown amount" of the substance it contained and had reportedly told staff the package contained "protein powder". The package had "foreign writing on it" and that the substance had apparently "been bought on the internet".
Ms Matthews’ mother Jane submitted a statement that was read to the court and said her daughter was "an incredible character" who was "bright and vivacious" and who "lit up the lives" of everyone she met.
The jury heard that in 2019 after a suicide attempt Ms Matthews suffered life-changing injuries. Ms Matthews became known and reached thousands of people with her mother’s statement saying her daughter had been able to help those who reached out to her and touched so many lives.
The inquest continues.