‘Upbeat’ woman’s drug death puzzle — (Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen)

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Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen

Saturday, 15 November 2003

A 52-YEAR-OLD old woman with a history of memory loss accidentally overdosed on prescribed medication.

An inquest heard that Barbara Ann Orrett was found dead in the bedroom of her home in Painter Wood, Billington, by concerned neighbours who used a ladder to gain entry.

Blood samples showed a level of the anti-depressant citalopram which was in the range normally associated with severe toxicity rather than fatality.

But pathologist Richard Prescott said that, in his opinion, it was toxicity of the drug that had caused death.

The dead woman’s sister, Brenda Moseley, said her sister had a history of depression which seemed to come and go. During her last contact, on the phone, Miss Orrett had seemed very up-beat and positive. She had just returned from a holiday in Turkey and was planning a return.

Neighbour and friend Keith Hartley said Miss Orrett had been “really up” in recent weeks. She told him she had stopped taking her pills and felt much better for it.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy coroner Carolyn Singleton said that despite Miss Orrett’s history of depression there was nothing in her behaviour immediately before her death that gave anyone any cause for concern.