You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Inquest probes Qld dog groomer death

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Alexandra Patrikios

The manager of a Brisbane veterinary clinic where a depressed dog groomer took her own life with a drug used to euthanise animals says it's possible an opened bottle of the substance could go missing without raising alarm.

A pre-inquest conference in August heard Donna Alexia Cowley-Persch, 58, was found by her colleagues in September 2013 after having administered the "rapidly fatal" substance.

Now, the inquest is investigating regulations applied to the drug, which legally must be locked away and monitored when in tablet form but not when in injectable form.

Practice manager of the Ascot Veterinary Clinic Kate Miller told the Coroners Court on Wednesday the site now kept the injectable version in a locked safe after Ms Cowley-Persch's death.

But she said the practice was not required to keep a record book dedicated to the use of the drug and admitted it was possible for an amount of the drug to go missing without anybody noticing.

"It would be fair to say that at least a part bottle could go missing from the practice and no one would necessarily blink an eye?" counsel assisting Peter De Waard posed.

"It's possible, yes," she replied.

She said staff didn't necessarily know where the drug was stored but acknowledged the substance "wasn't hidden".

The inquest also heard the deceased dog groomer had handed Ms Miller a letter outlining personal stress in the days before her body was found.

But while the letter detailed her feelings that she was losing "perspective" and needing to muster all her energy to get through the day, Ms Miller said she didn't regard her colleague as suicidal at the time.

Asked by Mr De Waard if the letter, taken as a whole, was essentially Ms Cowley-Persch "crying out for help", Ms Miller replied: "In hindsight, yes".

The inquest continues.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon