Daughter of leading lawyer told manager she had another job, inquest told


The daughter of leading lawyer Michael Mansfield QC told her line manager that she was leaving for another job - then later revealed she had no role to go to, the inquest into her death was told today.

Anna Mansfield, 44, was found hanging in the bathroom of her home in New Southgate, north London on May 1 this year.

Top human rights lawyer Mr Mansfield sat at the back of North London Coroner's Court, in Barnet, as Lowri Davies, who was his daughter's line manager at the telecommunications company Arqiva, said Ms Mansfield was one of a number of people at risk of redundancy in a restructuring.

Ms Mansfield sent her a note on April 21 saying she was resigning as she had accepted a job offer.

But on April 29 she had a meeting with Ms Davies in which Ms Mansfield said her real reason for going was she felt she had let the team down in some way, and that she had no job to go to.

Ms Davies said she herself was "totally oblivious" of any problem Ms Mansfield might have caused and offered her the chance to withdraw her resignation. She asked her to let her know by the next morning and when she had not heard anything by 12.39pm, she confirmed the resignation.

Ms Mansfield would not have seen that email confirming it, she said.

Andrew Jefferies QC,  for the family, said it was concerned whether Arqiva really did want to keep Ms Mansfield.

Ms Davies replied: "I said it wasn't seen as a serious matter, and I wanted to offer her the opportunity to withdraw her resignation."

Asked if she thought she should have chased the matter up again with Ms Mansfield before confirming the resignation, Ms Davies said: "Hindsight's a great thing, but it was quite clear she was going to let me know."

Asked by Fiona Canby, for Arqiva, if she had any knowledge of Ms Mansfield's history of mental health issues, Ms Davies said: "No knowledge."

And asked if she had any knowledge that she attempted to end her life on another occasion, she said: "No knowledge."

She did not see any signs of stress that Arqiva managers had been told to look out for in employees generally such as mood swings, she said.

Senior coroner Andrew Walker said Ms Mansfield's husband Carlo Secreti had made a statement saying he found her body in the bathroom of their home.

A pathologist gave cause of death as hanging.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow at 10am.