A MOTHER of three who felt police had ignored her rape allegations was found dead in a hotel room after an overdose, an inquest heard.

Claire Cruttenden told friends shortly before her death that she been betrayed and let down by Sussex Police.

The 30-year-old, of Quebec Road, Hastings, had reported rapes and other alleged crimes from 1999 until the day before her death in February 2014.

She told officers she had been tied up in her home, but she claimed they did not believe her.

She was found dead in the Granville Hotel , King's Road, Brighton, after an insulin overdose.

Close friend Darren Norden, of Chiltern Drive, Hastings, told the inquest she was not getting any help from police.

He said: "She was sick of being sexually assaulted by somebody that she knew and yet nobody believed her. I told her we had to get her some help but she said 'what's the point?'

"She alleged multiple rapes and attacks by one individual but the police were not doing their job, they did not believe her.

"Every time she had a run in with a police officer she would call me. She was fed up of being physically hurt and abused."

Professor Robert Peckitt, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told the inquest at Eastbourne Magistrates Court yesterday that this was an exceptionally difficult case.

He thought Miss Cruttenden had a complex personality disorder and while he was not an apologist for poor policing, it was possible the mother had a dysfunctional relationship with Sussex Police.

He said a number of multi-agency meetings had been planned before she died and she may have considered this to have been a threat to her.

He said: "She could have been diverted to mental health pathways but this is not a matter of blame, it is a terrible tragedy.

"The police response was generally satisfactory in my view, and she was very adept at keeping professionals at arms length when she wanted. The days of police officers sneering at complaints has gone and good riddance."

He talked of her "fragile precarious inner world" and said she may have wanted to react to what she felt as police inaction by what - in his own view - was an act of suicide.

Miss Crittenden had first taken an insulin overdose on January 26, 2014, when she was admitted to hospital.

Two officers were suspended in the aftermath of her death.

The jury will be asked to reach a verdict tomorrow morning at 10am.