Victim of Facebook stalker leapt to her death from rooftop restaurant

Rema Begum became distressed after her lifestyle was exposed to her Muslim parents

A former British Library manager who jumped to her death from a rooftop City restaurant was the victim of a Facebook stalker who exposed her westernised lifestyle to her strict Muslim parents, an inquest heard today.

Rema Begum, 29, was diagnosed with depression after losing her job following a row with library bosses last Christmas. Her health deteriorated and the once “bubbly life and soul of the party” was unable to leave the house because an internet stalker launched a hate campaign exposing her liberal lifestyle.

City of London Coroner’s Court heard Miss Begum began to fear she was living an impure life and told friends she was worried she would not go to paradise after her death.

On 4 September this year Miss Begum went to Coq d’Argent where she ordered a glass of wine on the terrace of the restaurant. She then leapt to her death. A post-mortem revealed she was not drunk.

Police found anti-depressants, a small bottle of rose, a bottle of vodka and a note containing contact details for her next of kin and her address in her handbag.

In the days before her death, Miss Begum, who lived alone in Islington, confided in a friend how she was “struggling” to reconcile her Muslim faith and her lifestyle. Avril Atkins told the court an internet stalker had used information from her Facebook profile to send hate mail to her and her parents. Miss Begum was so distressed she contacted the police.

Ms Atkins, who works in human resources, said: “Somebody had been sending letters to her parents about her lifestyle and her relationships and she believed they gained access to that information from Facebook.” Miss Begum, who had a masters degree, subsequently closed her Facebook account and opened a new one under another name.

Her depression began after her contract was terminated following of a clash with her bosses last Christmas, the inquest heard. Miss Begum had also been grieving for a relative. Ms Atkins said: “Towards the end she was having issues with one of her managers. It was causing her a lot of stress.”

Miss Begum also told her psychiatrist that she felt “guilty” for not living her life “according to her family values and religion”, and felt she would be “punished for leading a bad life”.

The inquest heard she had previously tried to take her own life and had to be saved by her parents.

Ms Atkins said her friend was a “very happy, cheerful, up kind of person”, but in the days before her death she had become increasingly reclusive. She was prescribed anti-depressants, underwent therapy and was under the care of a community mental health team.

In a long phone conversation shortly before she died, Ms Begum confided in Ms Atkins, who told the coroner: “She said she wasn’t living a good Muslim life and wasn’t going to paradise. I said there was nothing wrong with way she was living her life and her family should be proud of her.”

Miss Begum’s parents, Abdul and Rufia Hakim, did not attend the inquest.

The coroner, Paul Matthews, returning a verdict of suicide, said  there was “no doubt”  Miss Begum was suffering from depression. It was clear she went to Coq d’Argent with the intention of taking “action”, he added, and they were “not the actions of something gone horribly wrong”.

Four people, including Miss Begum, have jumped to their death from Coq d’Argent since 2007.

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

PPA Supply Teachers

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prima...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per annum: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prim...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?