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Soham woman took her own life after being ordered to leave country

An American woman who lived in Soham killed herself just days before she was set to kicked out of the country.

Fifty-four-year-old Kimm Cheatham was found dead in her bed on November 7 last year by her long-time partner Christopher Scurrah, an inquest heard.

Ms Cheatham, who lived in Market Street but was originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, had moved to this country in October 2017 after starting a relationship with Mr Scurrah online.

Kimm Cheatham with Christopher Scurrah
Kimm Cheatham with Christopher Scurrah

The inquest heard how months later, Ms Cheatham, who suffered from mental health issues, had taken an overdose.

She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, for treatment but was handed a bill for about £8,000 because she had no medical insurance. She returned to the United States in March 2018 before moving back to Soham in October. But a month later Ms Cheatham was ordered by the Border Force to leave the country on November 11.

Mr Scurrah, who is also originally from the United States but is now a British citizen, told the court: “She was devastated when she received the news. She was crying her heart out. I felt helpless. We wanted to make a life for ourselves in the UK.”

He said he thought the reason behind the notice was the medical bill, but that they were paying it off.

On November 6,Mr Scurrah said he saw her take tablets from their container, but did not see her take the pills. He said he went to sleep at about 11pm as she was awake next to him.

“I woke around 8am I thought Kimm was still asleep but found found two sheets of A4 paper on the kitchen table along with a brown envelope. It made it clear she had taken an overdose,” he said.

The inquest heard how after reading the notes Mr Scurrah had gone upstairs to try to wake Ms Cheatham, but couldn’t. He called 999 for help, but at 8.56am she was declared dead.

Assistant coroner Simon Milburn said the note ‘clearly sets out her distress in not being able to stay in the UK and the fact she would have to be apart from her partner’.

The court was told she had sent a Facebook message to a friend which said she had ‘taken enough medication she would not wake up’.

A post-mortemexamination found she died from opioid toxicity polypharmacy. Mr Milburn said she had deliberately taken a combination of prescription medication and concluded she killed herself.