An inquest into the death of Melanie Brown, an employee of the Blue Cross, has recorded a verdict of suicide and has not implicated the animal charity’s former chief executive, Kim Hamilton, or its former director of fundraising, Mike Crossley, in her death.
It had been alleged that Hamilton and Crossley had both entered into relationships with Brown. Hamilton resigned from the charity in January amid allegations made in the national press. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Hamilton had allegedly forced Crossley out after discovering he was in a relationship with Brown and gave him a £60,000 pay-off. Brown committed suicide eight months later.
The coroner at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court found that Brown had a "long-standing history of depression", for which she was taking antidepressants, and had "suicidal thoughts". The inquest was told that Brown had been in a relationship with a senior member of staff at the charity, but neither Hamilton nor Crossley were mentioned by name.
In a statement, Zair Berry, chairman of Blue Cross, said he would not comment on the private lives of colleagues. He added: "Mel was a much-loved colleague and is greatly missed here at Blue Cross. Our thoughts continue to be with her family and friends."