SUSSEX Police have sacked one officer and apologised to a grieving family after a mother of three killed herself two days after officers told her they didn’t believe she had been bound and gagged in her home, an inquest heard.

Police were called to the house of Clare Cruttenden, 30, in Québec Road, Hastings, late on February 17 2014, after a 999 call to say an intruder had broken in, trashed her house, tied her up and stolen her handbag.

An inquest heard yesterday (Tuesday) this was the 18th or 19th time she had alleged to police she had been the victim of crimes since 1999, including multiple rapes and violent attacks.

She was told on this occasion they thought she wasn’t telling the truth.

The following day she was found in a coma at the Granville Hotel in Kings Road, Brighton, after taking an insulin overdose, and she then died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. She had left a suicide note and there was an empty bottle of wine in the hotel room.

Four Sussex police officers were disciplined, including Detective Constable Damon Deans-Cane who was sacked in May 2015 because of gross misconduct. Three others – including PS David Tritton – faced sanctions but have kept their jobs.

Supt Nick May said the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), as is usual in these circumstances, and it asked Sussex Police to investigate under their supervision.

He said: "Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has visited Clare’s family and apologised to them. She apologised for the level of service that Clare received that night, which was far from that that people in Sussex Police usually receive in the vast majority of cases.

"The service those officers gave to Clare when they attended her home two days before her death fell way short of our standards and we take that very seriously indeed."

Coroner Alan Craze said DC Deans-Cane was said to be extremely tired at the time and had allowed himself to become angry by what may have been yet another false alarm and he has since apologised.

Mr Craze said the purpose of the inquest was not to point fingers of blame at anyone and he said it must not focus on whether Sussex Police has done anything wrong.

The eight-strong jury at Eastbourne Magistrates Court decided that Clare killed herself while her balance of mind was disturbed, and that a personality disorder had affected her actions.