A CLEANER with schizophrenia and severe mental health issues died after pouring nearly four litres of diesel on her mattress and setting it on fire, an inquest heard.

CCTV footage of Victoria MacDonald, of Angel Yard, Marlborough, shown during the inquest on Friday, captured the 33-year-old walking to the BP Petrol Station in Salisbury Road on the morning of her death.

She made two trips to the till, first to buy a lottery ticket and cigarettes, and then again with a petrol can before filling it with diesel in the forecourt.

Hours later fire crews smashed down the door of her first-floor flat and recovered her body from a mattress in the lounge. She was surrounded by matches and clutching towels, Salisbury Coroners’ Court heard.

Passer-by Hilary Barrett alerted emergency services last year at 1pm on October 5, as she walked near Angel Yard, a minute from Marlborough Fire Station.

In a statement read to the inquest she described hearing the high-pitched voice of a woman shout "oh no" and then saw flames and smoke inside the building.

Crews arrived seven minutes later from Marlborough followed by Hungerford and Pewsey, but Miss MacDonald, who was born in Chile and moved to England when she was a child, could not be saved.

The former Marlborough College student, who was on the severe mental health register, had no contact with her family. On the morning of her death she also collected a monthly supply of antipsychotic tablets from Marlborough Medical Practice.

A post-mortem confirmed she died from carbon monoxide poisoning and extensive burn injuries. A pathologist found a small amount of alcohol in her system, as well as traces of cocaine but said the latter was not from recent use.

Miss MacDonald, who was known as Nana and also went by the name Tina Malone, had spent the previous night and morning of her death with her boyfriend of four months Simon Plank, of High Street, Marlborough.

The 44-year-old self-employed builder, who knew her as Tina and said he was unaware of her mental health problems, told of how they spent a ‘happy’ evening together watching DVDs.

Statements from neighbours expressed their concern about the couple’s relationship.

However Mr Plank told the inquest: “We talked about moving in together, we were happy together. We were going to get our passports and go to Amsterdam at Christmas.”

Miss MacDonald had left him at 9.45am and told Mr Plank she was going home to have a bath and visit the library to check online what cleaning jobs she had. They arranged to meet later but despite Mr Plank calling and texting several times he got no reply.

A statement from David Geddes, group manager fire officer for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I am of the opinion this was a deliberate conscious act by the deceased and she was awake at the time of the fire.”

Senior coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon David Ridley, who recorded a verdict of misadventure, said: “There is no evidence to suggest anything untoward, she seemed happy with staff at the petrol station and in parts I saw her smiling.

"What is troubling is she bought herself a lottery ticket and that is not the actions of someone who is planning to take their own life, it does not add up.

“Unfortunately we will never get to the bottom of why she set fire to the mattress.

“What is more likely than not, is that the fire got out of control and she went and got some towels to control the fire. Sadly, she succumbed to the toxic fumes and collapsed on the mattress.

“I am going to record a conclusion of misadventure as I am satisfied that on the balance of probabilities this was a deliberate act that unintentionally and unexpectedly took a turn and led to death.”

In statements read to the inquest, Miss MacDonald was described by friends and her step-father John MacDonald as someone who was gentle, artistic and quietly spoken but was also private and would not discuss her mental health issues.

Mr MacDonald said she went to study foreign languages at Manchester University in 2000 but ‘fell in with the wrong crowd’ and tried drugs.

Her mental health problems developed from there and she refused help and contact from her family for nearly ten years.

Miss MacDonald’s mother Vicky said: “She was very loved and always will be by her family.”