A YOUNG mother hanged herself after she was sacked from her job at a doctor's surgery, an inquest heard.

Victoria Pocock took her own life while her partner and their infant son were asleep upstairs.

The 27-year-old was found at the bottom of the stairs by her partner, who quickly put their 18-month-old son back to bed before dialling 999.

The coroner heard that the operator told James Smith to cut his partner down and to start CPR but, Miss Pocock was declared dead at the scene in Lambourn, near Hungerford.

The inquest at Reading Town Hall on Monday was told how Miss Pocock had battled depression for a number of years and had recently lost her job at a GP surgery.

Miss Pocock's partner, Mr Smith, awoke at 8.30am to hear their young son crying from his bedroom. When he picked up the child, he looked down the stairs to see the boy's mother hanging at the bottom of the stairs.

Detective constable Philip Stephens went to the scene and also provided a report for Heidi Connor, senior coroner for Berkshire.

He said: "They went to bed and, at approximately 1:30am, Mr Smith woke up and his partner was still asleep next to him.

"At 8.30am he awoke to his son crying and went to get him up. He then noticed Miss Pocock's body at the bottom of the stairs.

"The operator instructed him to cut the cord and to start CPR.

"Paramedics attended the scene but she was declared life extinct at 9:09am on April 20. When I arrived at the scene the deceased was lying on the floor."

Miss Pocock also sent a text to her mother, in which she said she was struggling.

According to Mrs Connor, the contents of two letters 'set out a clear intention [Miss Pocock] intended to end her life.'

A toxicology report found that Miss Pocock had 183 mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in her system when she died, which was just over twice the legal limit of 80mg per 100ml.

Cocaine was also found in her blood stream, as well as a 'high therapeutic amount' of anti-depressant Citalopram.

Mrs Connor said: "In the case of Victoria Pocock I record a conclusion of suicide.

"I would like to pay tribute to the family for the huge degree of dignity the have displayed.