Inquest rules Mandy, 19, died after taking no more than four anti-depressants — (Skelmersdale Advertiser)

To view original article click here

Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertiser

Sep 11, 2008

by Amy Salter, Skelmersdale Advertiser

A TEENAGER found dead in her family home died accidentally, according to a coroner.

Amanda Howarth-Smaje, 19, died suddenly after taking ‘no more than four’ anti-depressants following the loss of her baby.

Mandy, of Birleywood, Digmoor was discovered unconscious in her bed by dad Brian, 57, in April.

At the inquest at Ormskirk Magistrates on Wednesday (September 3) it was revealed the teenager had been taking anti-depressants and having counselling after her baby was stillborn in November 2007.

Giving evidence in court Amanda’s dad Brian said the death left Mandy upset and she was prescribed anti-depressants.

“She was obviously upset about losing the baby but seemed to be getting over it,” he said.

“She split up with her boyfriend a couple of weeks after losing the baby and was upset about that as well.”

Brian said the day before Mandy died she’d been her normal self: “She went to her sister’s then popped into the neighbours to see her mum who was in there having a drink.

“At 3am I got up to go to the toilet and she was up, she seemed fine and was laughing and said she was going to bed.

“That was the last time I spoke to her.”

Toxicology tests showed Mandy had high levels of the anti-depressant Dosulepin she’d been taking but the inquest heard it was likely she’d taken no more than three or four tablets.

Dr William Taylor of University Hospital Aintree carried out the post mortem and said the drug had reacted with the alcohol she had drunk, causing an irregular heartbeat and sudden death.

Coroner Nicola Mundy said there wasn’t evidence to support the possibility that Mandy had taken her own life and a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Following Mandy’s death her family paid tribute to her in the Advertiser.

Sister Wendy, 32, said at the time: “Mandy was bouncy, genuine and sincere. She was always happy and loved kids – she wanted to work with children.”

Mandy’s other immediate family members are sister Tracy, brother Nick and mum Dot.