Inquest into death of Sarah Moore, whose body was found at Mudeford Quay on Christmas Eve

sarah moore inquest
Sarah Moore was missing for two weeks

A MOTHER whose body was found in the sea near Mudeford Quay on Christmas Eve took her own life, an inquest concluded.


Sarah Moore (54), who lived in Fairmile Road, Christchurch, was seen on CCTV around 7.30pm on 10th December last year heading towards the River Avon.

She was last captured by cameras crossing a bridge towards the Great Weir, but her body was not found until two weeks later by a couple walking near the quay.

Acting coroner Brendan Allen, sitting at Bournemouth, heard that on 10th December she had sent her only daughter Francesca Leach, who lived with her, a text message in the evening while she was out.

When Ms Leach arrived home later her mum’s bedroom door was shut, and she assumed she was asleep. But the next morning Ms Moore’s boyfriend arrived at her home saying he was worried about a disturbing message he had received the night before at about 7.15pm.

He had not seen it until that morning as he had turned his phone off, having earlier told Ms Moore that he wanted to end their relationship.

The couple had been together for a year and Ms Moore had told Ms Leach that they were intending to move to London. She had handed in her notice at Avonview Care Home, Christchurch, telling staff she wanted to spend more time with her elderly mother who lived two hours away.

In her statement Ms Leach said she had argued with her mother over the move, telling Ms Moore she was worried she would not have enough money to live on.

On 11th December Ms Moore was reported missing. There was an extensive police search and appeals over the next fortnight before her body was eventually found.

Ms Leach said she believed Ms Moore may have been waiting for a text reply from her boyfriend before setting off for the river when it did not arrive.

She added that he had been her mum’s “whole life.” She revealed her mother had not suffered from any mental health issues that she was aware of, but did drink frequently which could make her “very agitated and in a low mood”.

She said Ms Moore was also increasingly “isolated” in the months before her death, only going out to the shops or to walk her dog.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ms Moore had died as a result of cardiac arrest after immersion in cold water, rather than drowning. There was also a high concentration of codeine in her bloodstream.

Mr Allen reached a conclusion of death by suicide.

Following her mother’s death Ms Leach launched a fundraising appeal for the Dorset Search and Rescue Team and collected £1,000, as reported in the A&T.

On her fundraising webpage she paid tribute to the service revealing how they had “spent many hours searching for my mum in the most horrendous weather conditions”.