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Anorexic woman ate one mint a day; Daughter died from heart failure.

Byline: Jacqui Walls

AN anorexic woman died after eating as little as one Polo mint a day.

Amanda Bennett, 27, from Repton, Derbyshire, was found in her bedroom after suffering heart failure brought on by a severe eating disorder, Derby Coroner's Court heard yesterday.

After the hearing her father Ron, 62, claimed that only weeks before her death her family found a series of notes in her drawer which contained allegations about a local police officer.

Derbyshire police said yesterday they launched an investigation after Amanda's death, which also looked into allegations of indecency against another woman.

In a statement after the inquest, the force said a police constable was dismissed last week after a misconduct hearing. Miss Bennett's mother, Sue, said her ``immature and sweet'' daughter was eating as little as one mint a day before her death in July last year.

Amanda had suffered from a severe form of anorexia nervosa for almost 11 years, the inquest was told.

She was constantly in and out of hospital and spent nearly four years as an in-patient after her weight dropped to less than seven stone.

``She was lovely. She was very immature for her age and very loyal and sweet,'' said Mrs Bennett.

Mrs Bennett said Amanda, the youngest of four children, found it difficult to go away from home.

In the last few weeks of her life, she had conquered her fears of leaving the house and had agreed to be admitted to a specialist clinic for eating disorders in Leicester. Tragically, she never made it.

Coroner Peter Ashworth told the hearing at Derby Coroner's Court: ``Amanda was clearly a very loving girl and very close to her mother. She was timid and naive but she was also loyal and brave.

``It is quite clear that she did not want to die. The idea of her wanting to die or her committing suicide is not one that I am going to consider.

``My verdict will therefore be that Amanda died of the psychiatric disorder of anorexia nervosa despite strenuous attempts to help her and towards the end of her life a positive wish to recover.''

In the statement released after the hearing, Det Chief Insp Glenn Wicks, heading the investigation, said: ``Following the death of Amanda Bennett a team of experienced and dedicated detectives was formed to look into the circumstances surrounding her death.

``This team also looked into allegations by a second female against a man who, at the time, was a serving police officer.

``A full report was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided not to pursue charges of indecency against him.

``However, the allegations resulted in the officer appearing before a misconduct hearing last week to answer allegations of discreditable conduct.

``As a result of the misconduct hearing a 47-year-old constable was dismissed with immediate effect.

``This type of investigation is always very difficult and my heart goes out to the Bennett family over the tragic death of Amanda.''
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 13, 2002
Words:496
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