A GREIVING mother was found hanged just five years after her brother was killed by a drink driver, an inquest has heard.
Stephanie Loach, 29, was left overwhelmed by the passing of her brother in April 2016 as her mother said that she “never got over it.”
Brother Robert Loach, 27, was knocked off his motorbike by drink driver Craig Gallen who was nearly four times the legal limit and had tested for cocaine.
He subsequently received a six-year jail sentence, but the pain left by his actions was immeasurable as Stephanie struggled to cope with his passing.
On the evening of her death, the full-time mother of two, wrote on her Facebook page “Bye everyone. Sorry for all I’ve ever done to hurt u if I ever have”.
Hours later she was discovered dead by paramedics in her house.
Stephanie’s mother Sam Dallaway has since blamed driver Craig Allen for her daughter’s death citing the “chain reaction” of grief left by his fatal actions.
She included the deaths of Steff’s grandmother, Dorothy Reynolds, who died four months after Robert’s death, followed soon after by Robert’s aunt Debbie Loach.
CONSUMED BY GRIEF
A distraught Sam told Birmingham Live: “Steff never got over the tragedy of her brother’s death.
“She missed being able to talk to him. Robert was similar to her and always knew what to do. He was her idol. After his death, Steff didn’t know what to do with herself and was going through the motions every day.
“Losing Robert crushed her, as it did for my mum and his aunt. From one senseless act of drink-driving, it has led to multiple deaths in my family and I blame Craig Allen for all of it.
“Allen got a few years in prison but I have lost my two beloved children forever. I was angry with him at the time of Robert’s death but I’m even more so now.”
Allen, 35, was jailed after pleading guilty to two charges at Coventry Crown Court on May 26, 2016.
Meanwhile, Robert, who had seven brothers and sisters, left behind his partner Lian and two children, aged one and three, and was described as “the world’s most doting father”.
Now upon the tragic death of her daughter, Sam paid tribute saying: “Steff was my beautiful girl with a beautiful smile who adored her children. She was the life and soul of the party.
“Steff was funny, outgoing, flamboyant and liked being outlandish. She would dye her hair a new colour every week.
“Everyone loved her but she didn’t realise just how much. That’s what’s so heartbreaking.
“I can’t feel angry with her. I just feel so sad. I have told her children she died of a broken heart.”
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
Friends and relatives also took to social media to pay tribute to her Steff upon her death.
One said on Facebook: “I am absolutely devastated. Shocked! Why did it come to this? Mental health is a killer and it’s out of hand.. please find peace my darling Steff.. I loved you like a daughter and always will.. Heartbroken.”
Another friend added: “You will forever be with me I feel lost without you, my right arm, just know I will never forget you and I promise to be there for your mum and kids.
“Love you always.”
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.