The family of a Northampton-born head teacher who lost her life in a tragic car crash in Qatar may never really know how she died because of a “disgraceful” lack of information from the Foreign Office.
Victoria Barrett, known to friends as Vicky B, left the UK to take up a post as a teacher in the Middle East back in 2012 and quickly rose to become the head teacher of the Newton International School in Qatar.
But an inquest at County Hall in Northampton, yesterday heard how the 35-year-old died on December 20 last year in what was most likely a car crash.
Despite repeated attempts to get hold of details of her death from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Coroner Anne Pember said she had been supplied with “nothing.”
She said: “We have been given no information whatsoever.
“It’s a disgrace, but I could not put the inquest off for another year.
“It’s unlikely that we will get that information.
“All we know is that she was in a vehicle being driven by her boyfriend.”
The impasse meant only two “witnesses” were presented at the County Hall inquest yesterday.
Pathologist, Dr Mike Biggs, who carried out a post-mortem once Miss Barrett’s body had been returned to the UK, said bruising was consistent with being in the passenger seat of a “left-hand drive car” at the time of her death.
Though almost nothing else was known of the crash, the coroner said there was enough evidence to record a conclusion of “accidental death.”
Miss Barrett’s mother, Jane Barrett, said she managed to speak to her daughter only days before she passed.
In a touching statement read out by the coroner, Mrs Barrett said: “She was living the life she always wanted.
“I’ve never known anyone who was able to find and keep so many friends.”
Although her partner’s name was not given in court, Miss Barrett told her mother she had met the “love off her life” just days before passing away.
“Her last comment was that she was the happiest she had ever been,” her mother’s statement read.
Victoria Barrett was born in Northampton and went to Pitsford, then Moulton School.
Having originally trained in business leisure and tourism, the 35-year-old worked for travel companies in the Seychelles and travelled to the Maldives and South Africa during her early career.
She retrained as a teacher and worked tutoring business and IT at the Noadswood School in Southampton, before deciding to travel abroad again.
She took up a post at the Newton International School in Qatar in 2012 and rose to become head of its Lagoon campus in 2015.