An inquest has heard that a Helston woman who died in February last year had stopped looking after herself due to a “broken heart”.

Shirley Constance Kemp, known as Sheila by those close to her, who died aged 79 on February 13 2013,was described as a recluse who “lost the will” following the death of her partner.
Assistant coroner Barrie van den Berg heard a statement from coroner’s officer Graham

Cruickshank that said after Leonard Hoxey, Mrs Kemp’s partner of 40 years, died two years prior to her death, she "diverted her attention to her English sheepdogs.”

She rarely had contact with her family, but had an arrangement with a local taxi firm to be collected every Saturday morning for a weekly shop in Helston.

However on January 26 and February 2 she had rung up to cancel the arrangement, and on February 9 when she failed to appear on February 9 taxi driver Mandy Williams found her nearly unconscious on the floor under a swivel chair.

She was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital was found to be hypothermic and dehydrated, and died several days later due to blood clots from a deep vein thrombosis that had moved to her lungs.

Edward Hoxey, the brother of Mrs Kemp’s partner, told the inquest that she had “taken it very badly” when his brother died, and “didn’t want to help herself.”

He added: “She had started to lose the will, from there she chose her own destiny with regards to neglect. She didn’t want to help herself. It was tragic, I think it was a broken heart if I am honest.”

A verdict of death by natural causes was recorded.