Insulin overdose death tragedy of Burnley mum (43)

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A DEPRESSED Burnley woman died after taking an overdose of insulin prescribed for her partner, who was later murdered, an inquest has heard.

Pamela Brown (43) was rushed to the Royal Blackburn Hospital on August 30th last year after her partner, Mr James Atkinson, was unable to wake her at their home in Brunshaw Avenue. She had taken three pens full of the hormone prescribed for Mr Atkinson to control his diabetes. She never recovered and died on September 7th.

Police launched an investigation after hospital staff reported Mr Atkinson’s suspicious behaviour when he refused to visit Miss Brown despite being told she was seriously ill. He was released on police bail pending further inquiries but was murdered on October 5th.

The inquest was told by DC Martin Hulme, of Lancashire Police, that the Crown Prosecution Service would have decided not to press charges against Mr Atkinson as there was no suggestion he gave her the insulin and he immediately sought help when he could not wake her.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a narrative verdict and said there were many factors leading up to Miss Brown’s death which had to be taken into account.

The inquest was told on the night before she was admitted to hospital Miss Brown, who was said to be taking anti-depressants, alcohol dependent and would drink up to eight litres of wine a day, had been drinking at friends’ homes. Later in the evening she began to feel sick and thought her drink may have been spiked.

She managed to get home where she was sick and sent text messages to her son, Lee Howson, telling of her frustration with Mr Atkinson and his laziness.

One of the messages read: “I’m so depressed, I just can’t cope any more. I can barely walk and Jimmy keeps going on about his diabetes, he’s got help, me no. I’m run into the ground.”

Lee became concerned about the messages and forwarded the last one to his sister Krystal who called her mother.

Pathologist Dr Walid Salman said relatively low levels of glucose in her system indicated Miss Brown had taken insulin and on the balance of probability, the cause of death was insulin toxicity.

Krystal Howson told the inquest her mother and James Atkinson had a volatile relationship which lasted 14 years.

There’s more on this tragic report in Friday’s Express.