Yi Chen was suffering from mental health conditions when she locked herself and her five-year-old son in a bedroom and stabbed him to death before taking her own life, an inquest heard. On the morning of June 21, Chen’s husband Shuai Yuan broke the door to the bedroom down and discovered the bodies of his wife and son. He contacted the police telling them that “his wife had locked herself and his son in the room and their throats had been cut and they were cold to the touch”.
At the inquest at the North London Coroner’s Court, the court heard that Ms Chen was suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and migraines at the time of her death and had been due to have an appointment with a psychiatrist less than a week before her death but her husband had attended in her place.
Mr Yuan told the court he believed his wife’s condition has been improving but realised she had been hiding what was really happening.
He added: “From what I saw, I believed she was getting better but now I realise she was getting worse and chose to hide it from me.”
On the morning of the tragedy, Mr Yuan went to collect medicine from the pharmacy for his wife’s depression and returned home to find the bedroom door locked.
Senior Coroner Andrew Walker said: “You broke the door using a hammer to gain entry and found your wife and Xingduan on the bed.”
Emergency services attended the scene but the two were pronounced dead at the scene.
A knife and a note written in Mandarin were discovered at the scene in which Ms Chen spoke about her “physical and mental pain and suffering” and that she was not afraid of death.
In the note she referred to herslef as a “bad person”.
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A post-mortem examination found that Mrs Chen died as a result of “multiple penetrative sharp wounds to the body” and that despite the injuries, she would have been “entirely capable of inflicting all of those injuries”, concluding that there was no third party involvement.
Her son died as a result of an incised wound to his neck.
Coroner Walker said: “Xingduan was found on the cot bed having suffered a fatal injury to his neck bluntly caused by his mother who was suffering from a depressive illness.
“It seems to me that when Ms Chen acted, she did so intending to cause Xingduan’s death,” adding: “It seems to me the test I must apply is whether or not I can be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Xingduan was murdered and if that is the case I will record a conclusion of unlawfully killed.”
The coroner ruled Xingduan died by unlawful killing and Ms Chen by suicide.