A TALENTED artist who was well known as a librarian and a charity shop volunteer committed suicide by gassing herself in her car, an inquest was told.

Amanda Hunter. JON GRANGER Amanda Hunter, 45, of Cavendish Street, Barrow, killed herself on July 27 following a long battle with depression which included a stay at Dane Garth mental health unit.

An inquest into Ms Hunter’s death, held at Barrow Town Hall on Monday, was told a member of the public discovered the body of Ms Hunter slumped in the driver’s seat of her Renault Megane in a car park in Aldingham.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A toxicology report found the level of carboxyhemoglobin in her red blood cells was “enormously high” at 73 per cent – the normal rate for a non-smoker is just three per cent.

Mr Robert Chapman, assistant coroner for Cumbria, ruled Ms Hunter died from carbon monoxide intoxication. He said: “She obviously planned this. It’s clear to me that she killed herself.”

Ms Hunter worked part-time at Barrow library, volunteered at a charity shop and taught art and crafts to children.

The inquest was told Ms Hunter attempted suicide on December 11 2013 on the coast road when she took an overdose of anti-depressant medication.

After the suicide attempt, Ms Hunter was taken into the care of the Dova Unit at Dane Garth and was then transferred to home treatment care, where reports showed she was coping well, enjoying visits to the gym and coming off medication.

However, the inquest was told that on the morning of July 27 Ms Hunter’s daughter, Holly Andrews, 18, suspected her mother was lying on the phone when she said she was shopping at Asda due to there being no background noise.

Shortly afterwards Ms Hunter switched off her mobile and the police launched a missing persons search.

Miss Andrews said her mother had not shown any signs of depression or developing suicidal thoughts before her death. She said: “She didn’t seem any different.”

Giving evidence at the inquest, Elsie Nuttall, Ms Hunter’s mother, said: “We’ll never know.”

In his summary, Mr Chapman said: “While there were a few ups and downs with the changes of medication, there was substantial improvement.

“As far as the mental health people and the GPs were concerned, there was no indication of mental health problems during the course of 2015. Everything seemed to be improving.

“It may be that she was pretty good at hiding it.”