A DOMESTIC violence campaigner found dead in her car after trying to start a new life in Brighton took her own life after years of battling, a coroner said.

Mum-of-six, Sam Exall, was found slumped in her car with the engine running on Madeira Drive in March.

The 34-year-old still had a mobile phone in her hand when police opened the driver’s door of her Mercedes.

An opened blister pack of pills was found inside and more were found at her flat, Brighton Coroner’s Court heard.

Assistant Coroner Alicia Keen described Sam Exall as a battler.

READ MORE: Woman dies in car in Madeira Drive, Brighton

Ms Exall had hoped to join the police after finishing a degree in criminology and was known as a generous campaigner for women involved in domestic violence.

She moved to Brighton during lockdown and hoped to start a new life away from her own abusive relationship, the court heard.

Her car was spotted parked on Madeira Drive on the morning of March 5 with the engine running.

When police opened the door the inside of the car was warm.

Officers from Sussex Police stopped CPR after noticing her lips were blue and rigor mortis had already started.

Ms Exall had a history of mental health problems and illegal drug use.

“Sam sounds like a person who had so much to give,” the coroner said.

“I will conclude it was suicide.”

The coroner expressed her condolences to the family saying they should always think of her in positive terms.

“She was a battler,” Ms Keen said.

A post mortem examination confirmed the cause of death as multiple drug toxicity.

Empty packs of prescription drugs were found at her flat in Coombe Road, Brighton.

“She was prepared to move in order to create a new life for her and hopefully one day for her children.

“She tried really hard to get them back, making lots of positive steps and acknowledging the help she needed.

“She was pulling herself together.

“I see Sam as being a very strong and focused person at some times and at others it was all too much,” the coroner said.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this story you can call Samaritans on 116123 or visit samaritans.org