April 11, DailyMail

A woman plunged to her death from her bedroom window after suffering paranoid delusions caused by a tick bite, an inquest heard.

Jan Linton, 56, was bitten when she stayed on a friend's nine-acre estate in France.

Within six months she was acting "very strangely" and claimed the police were "out to get her", Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

It is believed she had contracted Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness which is notoriously hard to diagnose in its later stages and can cause psychosis and delusions.

She died instantaneously from multiple injuries after falling three storeys from a window in her flat in West Brompton, South-West London, in January.

Six months earlier she was bitten by a tick while working on land around a house owned by her friend of 20 years, Rhian Bradley.

Miss Linton, described as a "very active and independent lady" of private means, stayed on in France until late December when she returned to London to seek medical help for debilitating joint pains that left her walking on crutches, which she thought could be related to the bite.

Miss Linton, whose father was a surgeon, knew of the risk of Lyme disease.

Her private GP suspected the disease and sent her for tests. But her mental state rapidly deteriorated, the inquest heard.

Miss Bradley, who lived with Miss Linton, said her friend became exhausted from a lack of sleep and started suffering from delusions.

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photo: Up to one in three ticks carries Lyme disease (National Pictures)