Tragic death of mum terrified of living on own

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A DEPRESSED Burnley woman, who was terrified of living on her own, died from an accidental overdose, an inquest heard.

Mrs Mary Brooks (48) was found dead at her home in Forest Street with a packet of pills in her bag.

Her sister, Mrs Ann Fawcett, told East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor Mary started with depression in 1978 after giving birth to her daughter.

Mrs Fawcett said: "She had suffered for decades and was constantly in and out of hospital with mental health related issues."

She went on: "She became more and more institutionalised and eventually left her husband before going to Halfway House in about 1993 which provided her with a controlled programme of help. This gave her very little independence."

In 2005, alternative accommodation for Mrs Brooks was arranged at a house in Talbot Street and she was found a home in Forest Street, in 2007.

Mrs Fawcett added: "She was not prepared to go back into the community. The area was very run down and her condition started to deteriorate very quickly. She was definitely not ready for life after Halfway House. She has tried taking an overdose before which I think was a major cry for help. She used to get very frightened at night and struggled to take control of her new life and her new found independence."

Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud said he found two types of drug in her system at a toxic level which would have affected the brain and heart. It was the combination of the drugs, fluoxetine and zolpiden, that proved fatal.

Mr Taylor said: "I see a very frightened young lady who was miserable, depressed and found life very difficult. It appears she has got muddled up with the amount of medication she had taken on the night of her death as she did not have a proper prescription. There is certainly no evidence to prove she has taken her own life."

Mr Taylor recorded a verdict of accidental death.