Janice Borner and Ian Mathewson died in suicide pact ‘enabled by excessive medication repeatedly prescribed in error’ — (Cambridge News)

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Cambridge News

By Cambridge News

Posted: November 28, 2013

A couple who met at alcoholics anonymous died together in a suicide pact.

Janice Borner, 57, had a history of mental illness and yet was prescribed an ‘excessive’ amount of the sleeping pill zopiclone and anti-depressant citalopram, an inquest heard on November 27.

Miss Borner was given a repeat prescription for 84 zopiclone and picked up 336 pills in just 2 months.

She died with her partner Ian Mathewson, 51, at their home in Star Lane, Ramsey on January 12.

Her son Laurie Borner, 25, of March, said: “We pulled a black bin liner full of tablets out of the house.

“I don’t want to see it happen to anybody else because that’s two people in one hit and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

Dr Emma Harvey, 31, a GP at New Queen Street Surgery in Whitlesea, prescribed the drugs, and trusted Mr Mathewson to keep them locked up.

She said: “They both came across very well, Mr Mathewson in particular.

“He said he had a locked cupboard . . . and any extra would be in this cupboard and only he would have the key.

“At the time he seemed very trustworthy and he wanted to help in any way he could.”

Coroner Belinda Cheney said: “My concern has not been that you failed to pick up on any evidence of suicidal issues.

“My issue is the repeat prescription of 84 zopiclone tablets.

“It’s horses work to get 24 zopiclone tablets out of a GP, let alone 84.”

Miss Borner and her partner Ian Mathewson, 51, took an overdose of zopiclone and citalopram, an anti-depressant.

They both got into a car with the engine running where Miss Borner died from an overdose of zopiclone and citalopram and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Mathewson was found in a bedroom of the house. He died from an overdose of zopiclone and citalopram.

Coroner Belinda Cheney recorded a verdict of suicide enabled by excessive medication repeatedly prescribed in error.