Father pays tribute to daughter as death remains a mystery

Father pays tribute to daughter as death remains a mystery

Rebecca Wesson

Paul Wesson

First published in Headlines Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A FORMER councillor has spoken of his shock at the death of his “popular” daughter who was found dead on what would have been her mother’s birthday.

Paul Wesson, who also stood as an independent candidate in Witney against David Cameron in the 2010 parliamentary elections, paid tribute to his only child Rebecca Wesson, 25, who was found hanged at home by friends on June 2.

The single mother-of-one, known to friends and family as Bex or Becky, was the youngest candidate to stand in the Carterton Town Council elections in 2007, aged 19, and had ambitions to become a PCSO.

An inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court last Tuesday heard that Miss Wesson, of Brome Way, Carterton, had a history of self harming and had received counselling and medication.

After the inquest, Mr Wesson, who now lives in Rugby, Warwickshire, said his wife Paula had died, aged 46, on December 5, 2002, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer nine days earlier.

Miss Wesson, who had a son, Brandon, six, died on her mum’s birthday and her final Facebook post was ‘Happy birthday mum’.

She had been made redundant from her catering assistant role in May but had got a new job as a carer on the Thursday before she died.

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Paying tribute to his daughter, Mr Wesson, a former Carterton town councillor and West Oxfordshire District councillor, said: “She was part of the town. She was a very well-known, popular person.

“She was the centre of all the parties she went to. She was involved in a young mums’ group. She did lots of things for other people. She was always helping others.

“It (her death) was a surprise. The house was in her name, her son was at school and she had a new job. I just don’t understand it.”

He added: “Her mum was like her big sister, best friend and mother all rolled into one. Finding out her mum had cancer and her dying nine days later was a nightmare.

“I was dealing with a clinically depressed daughter who was self-harming and taking drugs at that time. And we were made homeless.

“Life was very difficult for her.

“She was incredibly close to her mum. Yes the loss of her mum affected her profusely.

“She had a lovely little house, surrounded by friends.”

Mr Wesson told the inquest: “She has always prioritised her son. We are all surprised that she would leave him and we cannot think that that was ever her intention.”

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said: “There is evidence of self-harm and depression which could point to an intention of Rebecca to take her own life. I am mindful there is evidence about more positive things going in Rebecca's life.”

A toxicology report said that there was 216mg of alcohol in her blood at the time of her death, nearly three times the drink drive limit of 80mg. She had also taken a recreational amount of cocaine.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Salter said: “In the early hours of June 2, Rebecca Wesson hanged herself with a dressing gown belt from a stair banister at her address. It is unknown whether she intended to take her own life.”

Miss Wesson’s son lives with his father in Windsor.

Mr Wesson was a Carterton town councillor from 1999 to 2007 and a West Oxfordshire District councillor from 1998 to 2002.

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