To view original article click here
A mum of two from Bracknell died due to the combined effects of a number of drugs, an inquest heard.
Mary Smith, 56, was found dead in her home in Northcott, Birch Hill by her partner Clive Turrell on Wednesday, October 21.
The inquest into her death was held at Reading Town Hall on Thursday, April 7.
The inquest heard a statement from Mr Turrell, which read: “She has suffered from depression in the past, a while back she started drinking regularly, binge drinking.”
Mr Turrell discovered her body on the bed in their spare room.
Near it was a small bottle of vodka, which lay half-empty on the floor.
Her daughter, Leah Smith, told the inquest: “She was due to come to Belfast the week after.
“She was talking about what we were going to do with the grandchildren. She was making concrete plans.”
At the time of her death Mrs Smith had been off work since Friday, October 9, due to a cough and a cold but the inquest heard she was making plans to return to work that week.
Mr Turrell explained Mrs Smith had been unhappy at work.
He said: “She was really happy to get [the job] but she was unhappy because somebody at work was picking on her.
“She used to talk about this person in evening after work.”
The inquest also heard how Mrs Smith had made steps to continue at work and had sought help regarding this person from the HR department.
After reading from a letter found near Mrs Smith’s body, coroner Emma Jones said: “She seemed to be writing after taking the alcohol and the tablets, it was quite rambling, focusing on issues at work.
“It didn’t seem to be expressing the definite intention of someone to take their life there and then.”
The toxicology and pathology reports read at the inquest explained at the time of her death Mrs Smith had a high quantity of sleeping pills in her system as well as smaller quantities of alcohol and anti-depressants.
Mrs Jones added: “When you combine all those substances it’s going to have a greater effect [than one alone].
“The brain stops sending signals to the lungs to breathe, the person simply falls asleep and doesn’t wake.”
Summing up, Mrs Jones said: “What you [the family] have told me is you spoke to her on the day or the day before her death, she had quite a lot to look forward to, her visit to her children and grandchildren.
“The work issues, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, she had resolved to give it a go and was planning a return to work on that Friday, having recovered from her cold.
“So, I cannot be sure her intention was to take her own life.”
The Coroner ruled Mrs Smith’s death to be drug-related.