A WOMAN died on the day she was due a visit from a mental health crisis team having taken a known euthanasia drug thought to have been bought from the “dark web”.

A toxicology report found Dhuha Al-Nader, 25, had a fatal level of a drug in her blood which is illegal for human use.

Mr Al-Nader found his daughter slumped over the kitchen sink on August 11 last year.

A small whisky-type bottle was found near where Mr Al-Nader performed CPR on his unresponsive daughter in their living room while waiting for paramedics.

An open verdict was recorded by senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray.

Giving evidence, Sergeant Timothy Goodwin, of Colchester police, explained Dhuha’s brother Mohammed, who was abroad at the time, received a text message from her suggesting she was suicidal.

The officer said: “She indicated she was thinking of taking her own life and maybe trying to obtain something over the dark web.”

He added: “When I arrived at the scene a pastor who was already there comforting the family discussed Dhuha’s mental health problems.

“I also spoke on the phone to Mohammed, who was quite angry and upset, and said the crisis team was coming that day.

“It seemed she did have mental health issues, and the information she was considering taking her own life together with the medications found at the address led me to believe there were no suspicious circumstances.”

Originally from Baghdad, in Iraq, Dhuha was cared for in some capacity by her father.

Sgt Goodwin felt there was no foul play or third party involvement in her death caused by pentobarbital toxicity and a small bowel infarction.

Coroner’s officer Nick Hale explained pentobarbital had been used in the UK for treating insomnia but “not for many years” and that it is used by vets.

He explained Dhuha’s laptop was forensically examined and there was no evidence she intended to use the drug for suicide but information about its uses is available on the internet.

Ms Beasley-Murray said: “This was a sudden and unexpected death.”

She added: “There are pieces of the jigsaw missing. Was it a cry for help? We just don’t know.

“Dhuha clearly was much-loved. She was a young woman with probably a bright future ahead of her.

“What a tragedy.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard:


THE father who lost his daughter after she took a lethal drug wants families to be better supported in accessing help for adult relatives with mental health problems.

Mr Al-Nader was powerless to help Dhuha, 25, because of her age.
Family friend Mr Priest, who was also at the inquest, said Mr Al-Nader expressed severe concerns to their family GP.

Mr Priest said: “There’s not a system you can navigate to try and get help.”

An action plan with three areas of improvement is now in place as a result of Dhuha’s death.

Caroline Smith, clinical specialist in safeguarding at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, oversaw the independent report.

Identifying the mental health needs of carers like Mr Al-Nader and referring them for support was noted.

She said: “As a carer you have needs in your own right and they need to be considered.”

On one occasion, Mr Al-Nader was unable to leave a message with a member of the Approved Mental Health Professional team.

Ms Smith said: “The answerphone message says who to contact out-of-hours, but there’s no facility for non-urgent queries.

"The team has until February to action this.”

The deadline for all of the action points is April.

Need help with your mental health?

  • If you are under 25 and need to talk to someone, click here for the YES Youth Enquiry Service or call 01206 710771.
  • To refer yourself to EWMHS (Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service) which provides support for young people and their families, click here or call 0300 300 1600.
  • Mid and North East Essex Mind can be accessed here.
  • For a full list of much more organisations which can support you if you are ever feeling suicidal such as Samaritans or Papyrus, click here