Mary Jones: Prevention of future deaths report

Suicide (from 2015)

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Date of report: 21/03/2024

Ref: 2024-0159

Deceased name: Mary Jones

Coroner name: Elizabeth Wheeler

Coroner Area: Cheshire

Category: Suicide (from 2015)

This report is being sent to: Amazon UK

1CORONER   I am Elizabeth WHEELER, Assistant Coroner for the coroner area of Cheshire
2CORONER’S LEGAL POWERS   I make this report under paragraph 7, Schedule 5, of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and regulations 28 and 29 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013.
3INVESTIGATION   On 14 November 2023 I commenced an investigation into the death of Mary JONES aged 86. The investigation has not yet concluded and the inquest has not been heard.
4CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEATH   Mary Jones was found dead at her home address on 7 November 2023. She had last been spoken to on 6 November. She died as a result of a deliberate overdose of medication, taken with the intent to end her own life. As part of calculating what a fatal dose would be, she consulted a well known book advising on suicide methods.
5CORONER’S CONCERNS   During the course of the investigation my inquiries revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths could occur unless action is taken. In the circumstances it is my statutory duty to report to you.   The MATTERS OF CONCERN are as follows: (brief summary of matters of concern)   The “well known suicide book” I refer to in Box 3 is [REDACTED                                                                                                    ” (redact on publication). As part of my investigations, I have received evidence that this book is readily available on following a simple search for the same. Furthermore, it is available on Amazon Prime – so is available for expedited delivery.   It is the first item shown when a search is made. Amazon, or the algorithms, are clearly aware of the potential for harm that this book can cause as there is a banner at the top giving contact numbers for the Samaritans. Despite this, the book is still on sale.   I am aware that the Area Coroner for Cheshire wrote to Amazon in December 2023 raising this same issue, but has not yet had a response.   I am concerned that the ready availability of this book will lead to people being more effective in any attempts to take their own lives.
In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you (and/or your organisation) have the power to take such action.
You are under a duty to respond to this report within 56 days of the date of this report, namely by April 26, 2024. I, the coroner, may extend the period.
Your response must contain details of action taken or proposed to be taken, setting out the timetable for action. Otherwise you must explain why no action is proposed.
I have sent a copy of my report to the Chief Coroner and to the following Interested Persons
I have also sent it to
who may find it useful or of interest.
I am also under a duty to send the Chief Coroner a copy of your response.
The Chief Coroner may publish either or both in a complete or redacted or summary form. He may send a copy of this report to any person who he believes may find it useful or of interest.
You may make representations to me, the coroner, at the time of your response about the release or the publication of your response by the Chief Coroner.
9Dated: 21/03/2024
Elizabeth WHEELER Assistant Coroner for Cheshire