Ex-Camelot executive who had anorexia died after laxatives overdose

‘Very thin’ ex-Camelot executive, 48, who suffered with anorexia for years was found dead at her home in West London after overdosing on laxatives, inquest hears

  • Alexia Latham was found in her home in Paddington, West London, in June 2020
  • The 48-year-old struggled with anorexia for years and had told her GP about it
  • Paramedics found boxes of constipation tablets when called to her ‘dirty’ home
  • An inquest has found she died of dehydration caused by anorexia and the pills 

A ‘very thin’ former Camelot executive who suffered from anorexia for years was found dead at her West London home after overdosing on laxatives, an inquest has heard.

Alexia Latham was found unresponsive in the hallway of her home in Paddington on June 28 last year surrounded by boxes of constipation medication.

Westminster Coroner’s Court was told today that the 48-year-old had dealt with anorexia for years and had been seeing her GP for the condition.

The court was told that the Cambridge University graduate most likely died of dehydration caused by a combination of her anorexia and the laxatives she had taken.

Ms Latham, who was born in Vienna and moved to London at the age of 15, was found ‘very underweight’ by paramedics when they arrived at her home at 4.50pm.

Alexia Latham, pictured, was found lying in the hallway of her home in Paddington on June 28, last year

Fernando Santos Dos Santos, a Met Police officer, said in a statement: ‘She was immediately to the left of the door lying on the floor.

‘She was not breathing and seemed to be very underweight.

‘The property was very dirty and cluttered. It appeared she did not look after it very well or after herself.

‘I checked the body for any signs of foul play. There was constipation medication on the floor in unopened boxes along with other laxatives.’

Dr Ali Alhakim, the pathologist who conducted the post-mortem, said the only abnormalities were her ‘very thin weight’ and ‘numerous white tablets’ in her stomach.

He added that Ms Latham’s death was most likely caused by dehydration.

The 48-year-old had struggled with anorexia for years, and a coroner ruled her death was due dehydration caused by a combination of anorexia and overdosing on laxatives

Dr Alhakim added: ‘The eyes looked sunken which is a sign of dehydration.

‘There was blood, vomit and faeces in the toilet cubicle and bathroom floor.

‘The most likely cause is dehydration or low electrolyte or blood levels. The presence of anorexia would have predisposed her to lower water or electrolyte levels.

‘I would describe this as an unnatural phenomenon.’

Ms Latham’s mother, Ellie Latham, said her daughter had gotten her second Covid vaccine the week before her death and was suffering from symptoms such as shivering and a high temperature.

She told the inquest: ‘She was teetering on a tightrope with her situation of being so extremely thin.

‘I was wondering whether this reaction of her immune system removed the balance.

‘She often suffered from exhaustion and I was always afraid that something might happen.’

Two days before she died Ms Latham told her mother she was going to a book club and a friend who drove her said she seemed fine.

In his conclusion, Coroner Russell Caller said: ‘The deceased was suffering from anorexia and the combination of this and an overdose of laxatives caused the death.’

Ms Latham had worked as a freelance communications consultant at the time of her death, and had worked in media relations previously. 

She had worked at National Lottery operator Camelot, but was forced to leave her job in 2007 when she posed as fictitious MBA student called Karen Dikins in order to get information on rival bidders.

She emailed Glenn Barry, an Australian lottery expert who had advised lottery operators around the world, with searching questions on what he knew about rival bidders competing against Camelot for the British lottery.

He became aware of her ruse after he sent an out-of-hours email and received an auto-reply from her Camelot address.

After this she went on to work with Esther Rantzen on her Silver Line project, a telephone helpline set up to help ease the loneliness of older people.

Help and advice is available for anyone dealing with anorexia or supporting someone who has anorexia at https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/ 

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