Farmer, 43, took her own life weeks after unfounded complaint to RSPCA about her sheep
A dedicated farmer was found dead after an unfounded complaint was made to the RSPCA about the welfare of one of the animals in her care.
Emma Watson, 43, took her own life weeks after an anonymous objection was raised.
The tragic woman was found by her mother in woodlands in August last year.
She was discovered near Oakamoor farm, Stoke-on-Trent, where they both lived.
Stoke-onTrent Live reports that the inquest into her death heard she was upset following the compaint.
A report was made to the RSPCA regarding the condition of one of her sheep.
But a visit from an inspector confirmed “there was no issue with the welfare of the animals” on the farm.
Staffordshire County Council inspector Paul Mills investigated on June 28, 2019.
His statement said: “An anonymous complaint had been made regarding a sheep covered in maggots. It was referred from the RSPCA. When I arrived I saw Emma Watson.
“I explained the reason for my visit and she started to get upset.
“She said she checked the sheep every day and was only aware of one sheep with flystrike and was adamant it had been treated. After I reassured her I was only following up the complaint, she became calmer.”
The inquest then heard the inspector examined the animals and the individual sheep in question was in “good condition”.
“I was happy there were no welfare concerns for the animals,” Mr Mills added.
The tragic woman’s mother Isabel said she noticed her daughter was concerned.
She said: “Emma was always a very dedicated worker. She was very committed to the farm.
“She seemed down. An inspector had made an appointment to come and check the animals. Things seemed to be getting on top of her.”
When the parent returned home one evening, her daughter was not there.
The following morning, Mrs Watson began a more thorough search of the property and discovered her daughter’s body in a wooded area.
The inquest heard the former Painsley Catholic College pupil – who had a degree in ecology – had no medical history of anxiety or depression.
Senior coroner Andrew Barkley described Miss Watson’s death as “a total tragedy”.
“The only clear indication from the evidence as to why this happened appears to be the anxiety caused by this inspection, caused by a complaint to the RSPCA about the condition of one sheep,” he said, concluding that her death was suicide.
“The inspector indicated he clearly had no concern for that sheep or any other.
“It played disproportionately on her mind. Her mother said she was anxious about this and having to check animal records.”
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