A MUM-of-two died after battling an eating disorder which saw her live for years on a diet of kids’ party food.

Charlotte Broad, 32, who spiralled into depression after she had a stillbirth and survived off snack food which she would purge.

Solent News

Charlotte, from Winchester, struggled with depression after she lost a baby[/caption]

Solent News

She had a difficult relationship with food, according to her brother she refused to eat vegetables or anything nutritional as a child[/caption]

Doctors treating Charlotte – who has two young daughters aged 11 and six – felt helpless as she refused to eat or even drink, and would constantly vomit, so much so that her throat turned black.

Even when she was pregnant, Charlotte, who lived in Winchester, ate only “Irn Bru and Wotsits”, an inquest heard.

Today at Winchester Coroners Court, Hants, her heartbroken partner of 10 years Mark Darley said: “When we first met she was ok.

“She ate cheese and onion crisps, poppadoms and prawn crackers and that was it. She never ate anything else.”

Miss Broad was admitted to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, Hants, on January 3 2019 after being bed bound for nearly six weeks, before passing away nearly two weeks later on January 18.

She was taken to A and E by an ambulance after her partner finally managed to convince her to go to get treatment.

Charlotte had a difficult relationship with food. Everyone is in agreement that her diet was incredibly poor, it was almost kids’ party food, the chicken nuggets, the chips, the coke.

When in hospital Miss Broad repeatedly refused food, or would not even receive nutrition via an intravenous drip.

When doctors asked her if she understood what was going to happen if she didn’t eat she responded “I’m probably going to die”.

Six days before her death on January 13, Miss Broad said she did not want to be examined anymore and refused to let doctors take blood from her telling them she was sick of being poked and prodded.

The court heard from Miss Broad’s brother, James, who said: “She always ate strangely from a young age. She would have chicken nuggets and chips every day.

“I can’t remember her being called fat at school, I was the larger child. By the time I left home she was still just eating chicken nuggets and chips but never any vegetables.

“I do believe she should have been sectioned for her mental health.

“I believe she wanted to die, I don’t know why if i’m honest.”

Acting area Coroner Samantha Marsh explained that eating disorders are very difficult to deal with and said: “Ultimately, you can’t tie someone down and force them to eat.

“Charlotte had a difficult relationship with food. Everyone is in agreement that her diet was incredibly poor, it was almost kids’ party food, the chicken nuggets, the chips, the coke.

Some people commit suicide by jumping off a bridge, and some just stop eating.


Dr Frank Murphy

“All of the health problems she was experiencing were secondary to the poor malnutrition. There were multiple attempts by mental health to engage with her…

“She declined all of those services.

“I’m satisfied that Charlotte understood that by not eating, she knew what would happen.

“She simply refused to take on adequate nutrition. I am satisfied that Charlotte was not presenting as someone that needed to be sectioned.”

Miss Broad’s mother, Kate Gibson, said tearfully: “I tried to get her to eat more vegetables and I would try and hide it in her food but you can’t force someone to eat.

“I don’t know if she wanted to die. But I know she would not have wanted to leave her children.”


Dr Frank Murphy, who treated Miss Broad at Royal Hampshire County hospital said: “Some people commit suicide by jumping off a bridge, and some just stop eating.”

Dr Murphy said: “It is very hard. You are looking at a young lady who is dying in front of you and you think why is this happening.”

Miss Broad had a history of depression following a stillbirth in 2007.

Although she had two successful pregnancies in 2008 and 2013 she continued to struggle with her eating disorder and in 2011 she was referred by her GP to an eating disorder service.

Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri told the court that when she died, Miss Broad was in the early stages of heart failure as a result of long periods of malnutrition.

He gave the cause of death as multiple organ failure secondary to severe malnutrition.


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