A devout Christian
has died during a fast after telling her family she wanted to emulate Christ's 40 days and nights in the wilderness.
Just over 10 years ago, Rosaline Gilbert became a devout Christian and adopted regular fasting as a statement of her strong beliefs.
But finally, with her body probably weakened by years of intermittent starvation sustained only by water and her Bible, Miss Gilbert, 34, died at her home in Hackney, east London, after going without food for 23 days.
Her sister Juliet said yesterday: "She started her latest fast on 19 March - just drinking water and reading the Bible. We think she maybe hadn't drunk enough water. She was starving herself and it must have been just too much for her body to take. It is such a shock. But she would have found some peace devoting herself to God."
Her mother, Gloria Gilbert, 66, said yesterday: "She had been a Christian for a long time. She fasted frequently and would do it when the Lord told her to. Then she would start eating again."