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Cause of hair stylist’s death still a mystery

Inquest is told friends saw Angela Pascale in the street a few days before body was discovered

11 June, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Angela Pascale, who was described as ‘well-known and liked’

FRIENDS of a transgender hair stylist, psychic medium, and former sex worker were left with more questions than answers after a coroner’s inquest failed to establish how she died.

The body of Angela Pascale was found decomposed after police broke into her home in Stukeley Street, Covent Garden, on January 29.

The inquest had heard that the 53-year-old’s depression had worsened owing to isolation in the Covid-19 lockdowns last year and that she had become “reclusive” after being abused in the street for being transgender.

St Pancras coroner Mary Hassell recorded an open verdict based on an autopsy that said a full analysis was impossible because Ms Pascale’s body was too far decomposed to make a meaningful analysis.

The inquest heard, however, that there was no evidence of physical injury, restraint or disturbance at her home, she had no drugs in her system other than a small trace of the anti-depressant that she had been prescribed.

And there was no note left behind.

Friends had seen her in the street just a few days before her death.

During the hearing Shannon Lister, a friend and medical professional, told the coroner: “I find it quite shocking that a dear loved one can just disappear like this and no one knows what is the cause. No reason has been given.”

The coroner explained that “decomposition can occur very quickly” and that a pathologist, Dr Alan Bates, had been unable to check Ms Pascale’s blood and urine.

“The truth is, we simply don’t know,” Ms Hassell added. “There is insufficient evidence.”

The inquest heard that Ms Pascale was outwardly vivacious and fun to be around but that behind her smiley façade hung a dark cloud of depression. She had led a troubled life: the inquest heard she had been abused as a child, leaving behind her family in Essex to come to London to work as a hairdresser, before becoming a sex worker in the West End.

Her brother watched the hearing via video-link.

A statement from her GP at Covent Garden Medical Practice Dr Louis Brassey, who attended the hearing, said: “Angela’s death came as a shock. She was very well-known and liked, particularly among radical groups. She was active and interested in local politics.

“She had a very difficult childhood, and young adulthood.”

The inquest heard that Ms Pascale had gone to Thailand in 2006 to have “gender reassignment surgery”, but a statement from her therapist said she had became highly critical of the operation and she had said “it did not make her feel better as a person”.

Ms Pascale was interested in the movements of the stars and had told her psychotherapist, Zahraa Hadi, that voices in her head were “astrology-based and in pattern with the lunar calendar”.

Friends attending the inquest included Jodie Ford who had contacted police after Angela did not respond to calls.

“There were no notes, no bottles of medication, no evidence of physical injury,” a statement from PC Bobby Manoharan read to the court said.

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