Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

No inquest into the death of Charlotte Dawson

Family agree with decision but some friends unhappy about lack of inquiry

Charlotte Dawson's birth mother said yesterday it was time to move on. Photo / Getty Images
Charlotte Dawson's birth mother said yesterday it was time to move on. Photo / Getty Images

The family of troubled celebrity Charlotte Dawson say they are satisfied by a decision ruling out a coronial inquest into her death, four months after she took her own life.

The body of the former Kiwi model and television presenter was found in her luxury Sydney apartment in February.

The New South Wales Coroner's Court received a brief of evidence from police last week and the matter has been finalised, effectively dispensing with the need for an inquest.

A close relative of Dawson told the Herald on Sunday that family in New Zealand had asked Australian police not to push for an inquiry as they felt there was no need.

And the TV star's birth mother, Carole Warner, said yesterday it was time to move on.

"A decision was made by the family about an inquest and it is time to lay this whole thing to rest," Warner said.

The decision not to hold an inquest has surprised some of Dawson's friends in Australia, however.

Some had raised concerns about her health, especially surrounding her use of the controversial drug Baclofen.

Friends claimed in the Australian Women's Weekly magazine this week that many doctors refuse to prescribe the drug in Australia, although Dawson had managed to source it on the internet.

Baclofen is normally used to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis but some take it to help control alcoholism.

It has been linked to at least one other high-profile suicide in Britain.

A close Sydney associate of Dawson called for police to reconsider the decision.

"Charlotte had been depressed but no one expected her to kill herself," said the friend, who asked not to be named.

"There is a desire to know what actually happened to Charlotte in the time leading up to her death and we believe all the evidence has not been considered.

"Some friends knew she had shown an interest in Baclofen and there are a lot of unanswered questions.

"Police should reconsider this decision, in consultation with the coroner."

The Women's Weekly article also questioned several accounts of what happened the day before Dawson was found dead.

Friends said Dawson had not died in squalor, as had been previously reported.

There was not a stash of empty booze bottles strewn about the flat and no overflowing ashtrays.

- Herald on Sunday

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