The family and friends of a woman who died after taking an overdose have paid tribute to their beloved sister, aunt, and cousin. 

Linda Banks, 48, died in April 2022, after struggling with her mental health following her mother's death months previously. 

At an inquest into Linda's death, the Banks family have said that they lost "the kindest of people", adding that they have felt "very let down" by the mental health trust charged with caring for their sister. 

A former teacher, Peter Crawforth, also said that Linda was "perhaps the most gentle child I ever taught," and that he had been devastated to hear of her death. 

Jonathan Banks, Linda's younger brother by three years, said: "Linda was always a busy person, and loved going to her awareness group and raising funds. Her house was always full of prizes for draws and tombolas - we said she always worked at least three tombolas ahead.

"We lost our mam to old age and various other medical problems. Linda loved our mam and her death hit her very hard.

"Linda had mental health problems and learning difficulties from her very early teens. After mam's death, I would receive up to 30 phone calls a day and night paranoid.

"Linda was the kindest of people and worked hard raising money for charity. We are all still hurting from her death and feel very let down by the mental health trust.

"She loved music and would dance whenever she could. She never let her learning disabilities hold her back, living life to the fullest.

"She gave so much to others without expecting anything back. She had an amazing love for family and friends."

Peter Crawforth, who taught Linda at junior school in Ferryhill, said he knew a "quiet but friendly girl", who he "always thought of as fragile and vulnerable". 

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"She loved her mother dearly and it must have been a dreadful blow to her when her mother died. She was liked by all, and was perhaps the most gentle child I ever taught."

Linda's cousin, Karen Banks, was four years older than Linda, saying that Linda's vulnerability was clear in her early years. 

She said: "She always was better when surrounded by people, and needed the extra time to grasp things."