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Coroner shocked by Staffordshire County Council's 'excessive micromanagement' of mother who committed suicide

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A worker 'excessively micromanaged' by her council employer committed suicide due to the pressures of work, an inquest heard.

Mother-of-three Rosemary Corden was found by dog walkers on Cannock Chase.

Her body was discovered after she had two days off sick from Staffordshire County Council, who she had worked for for 19 years, Cannock Coroners' Court heard.

She worked as an administrative coordinator for the council's Families First service

A note found on Mrs Corden's body revealed that the Friday before her death she had attended a "brutal" staff meeting in which personal comments were made about her. One included criticism that the mother-of-three had brought flowers for someone who was upset at work, suggesting she should "stop trying to buy friends."

"Rose had loved her job" said former colleague Claire Goodey, "But they kept increasing her responsibilities and not reflecting that in her pay."

Mrs Corden, of Lees Close, Rugeley, was reported missing by her husband Martin at 7.38pm on November 10. She was discovered not far from a footpath at Seven Springs at around 8.30am the next day.

Mrs Corden had attended her GP in September complaining that she was experiencing low moods, was under pressure and feeling stressed at work. She was also concerned about her memory, although an assessment revealed that nothing was wrong.

Coroner Andrew Haigh told the hearing Mrs Corden was expected to deliver daily colour-coded charts showing what she and her team were doing every day. She was also expected to respond to queries on the chart, keep a track of her team as well as complete her own daily work.

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He concluded the 53-year-old's death was suicide caused by hanging. At the conclusion of the inquest, Coroner Haigh commented: "I am struck by the excessive micromanagement of Rose and the county council's insensitivity to Rose's needs."

Mrs Corden's husband said: "I am pleased at the comments of the coroner, as pleased as I am able to be. Rose was a wonderful person and it was just the stress of work that led to this tragedy."

A council spokesman said: "We have co-operated with all requests of HM Coroner. We will now take time to carefully consider the coroner's verdict and observations.

"It would therefore be inappropriate to make any further comment at this time."

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