Chef killed herself after fearing she might be fired

A talented chef who was worried she was going to lose her job killed herself, despite being assured earlier in the day by the celebrity cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that she was to be kept on.

Philippa Corbin, 27, had worked with Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall at his River Cottage headquarters, which was close to her parents' home.

On the day she hanged herself she had taken a phone call from the television chef and food campaigner in which they talked about her future in his business. Andrew Forrester, who had known her for six years, was with her when Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall rang, and said in a statement read to the inquest in Exeter: "She stated that no one was giving her a straight answer."

Miss Corbin's father, Hugh, who found his daughter's body, said she had been suffering from depression and anxiety. She had left a note stating she intended to kill herself.

Exeter and Greater Devon deputy coroner Darren Salter ruled that she took her own life. "Given the evidence together, of course, with the note, I'm satisfied about that, that it was her intent," he said.

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