Inquest into death of high flying Norwich law student

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An inquest opens tomorrow (29 June) at Norwich Coroners Court into the death of a high flying Norwich law student. The family will be represented by a medical injury specialist at Ashtons Legal.

Katrina Rolph, 20, was pursuing a law degree at Bangor University at the time of her death. Since 2013 she had been experiencing a number of apparently unrelated physical symptoms, as well as anxiety and depression but in spite of this, she obtained an overall first in her first year examinations. With the help of her parents she had by this time consulted a number of specialists in different areas of medicine, to try to find the correct diagnosis for her symptoms. Katrina became concerned that her symptoms were linked to high copper levels, as a result of wearing a contraceptive coil.

She became increasingly depressed about her physical health, and in March 2016 Katrina’ parents Chris and Louise arranged for Dr Crook of Spire Hospital in Norwich to visit the family home to see Katrina alone. He recommended a 72-hour mental health referral to the family’s GP, but Katrina’s parents were not made aware of it. The GP forwarded it to the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), but it seems it was never actioned. As a result, Katrina received no mental health assessment or treatment. Katrina’s medical records also appear to show an earlier and similar recommendation. It is unclear what became of it, though it also seems not to have been actioned. A later appointment was made with the NSFT mental health team, in May, but that was subsequently cancelled by NSFT.

Katrina received a drop in appointment in July and she and her mother continued to press for help. But nothing was ever actioned. She asked her parents for a holiday and they rented a cottage at Hempstead during late September 2016. Her body was discovered in woods near the village. It is believed that she took her own life.

Elliot Clarke comments: “Once again, we see the tragedy of a young person with so much talent and hope for the future, but whose life has been lost in the most terrible way. Katrina was determined to make her career in the law, and it was her ambition to be a judge. ‘She continued her studies in spite of the shadows which were beginning to enfold her. But in the end, it seems to have become too heavy a burden. That is for the coroner to decide, of course. There are a number of questions to which the inquest will want answers, and Katrina’s grieving family look forward at last to finding some clarity.”


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