Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford grandmother's suicide after lottery scam

A grandmother from Bedfordshire committed suicide because she lost almost all her money in a lottery scam, an inquest has been told.

Lieselotte Gerrard, 84, was found dead at her flat in Aspley Court, Warwick Avenue, Bedford on 15 January after taking an overdose of pills.

Bedford Coroner's Court heard widowed Mrs Gerrard had been the victim of an international fraud scheme.

Coroner David Morris recorded a verdict of suicide.

A post-mortem examination found she had taken an overdose of the painkiller Tramadol.

After losing her money Mrs Gerrard could no longer pay the management fees on her flat.

She then made a deal with her cleaner Satvir Kaur, known as Sue, and her husband, that if they paid the fees they would inherit the flat.

The inquest was told when Mrs Gerrard's body was found a note was nearby which said "Sue made me kill myself".

'Rendered penniless'

Police found no evidence this was the case

Det Sgt Paul Baron, who carried out the probe, said: "Some may find it morally wrong that the Singh family stood to benefit financially

"But I have not discovered anything to indicate they are responsible for the death of Lieselotte Gerrard."

He said she had wasted her money chasing a non-existent lottery win.

"It appears she rendered herself almost penniless chasing the lottery scam," he said.

Mrs Gerrard's stepson Barry Gerrard tried to persuade her to give up on the lottery but the pair fell out in June last year and did not speak again after that, the inquest heard.

Coroner David Morris said: "Tragically most of her money was taken from her on an international fraud.

"She sadly won't be the last person but it's worthy of note that these terrible frauds have such amazingly difficult consequences for those concerned and their families.

"This seems to be the case as far as Mrs Gerrard was concerned."

He said they could not be sure when the note had been written and he was satisfied no third party was involved in her death.

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