Toxic cocktail killed mum, 54

The scene where the body was found on February 8, 2011
The scene where the body was found on February 8, 2011
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A WOMAN whose body was discovered on a building site on Blackpool Promenade had swallowed a “toxic cocktail” of painkillers and alcohol.

Joyce Coulter, from Hornby Road, Blackpool, was discovered by workmen opposite TJ Hughes at around 2.30pm on February 8.

Her body is thought to have lain undiscovered by a pile of rubble (pictured far right) for three days after she left the house following an argument with her husband.

She was reported missing by her family in Cumbria who became alarmed when they could not get in contact with her.

At her inquest, it was explained Mrs Coulter had been on pain killers for a bad back, but had chatted happily on the phone to family on the night of her disappearance.

Liver failure was given as the cause of her death.

Anne Hind, HM Coroner said: “This was the result of the combined tragic affect of alcohol and painkillers.

“There was a significant amount of alcohol in her body, two-and-a-half times the legal driving amount.

“An empty bottle of vodka was found by her side.

“She was taking painkillers for problems she was having with her back, but these and alcohol are a dangerous thing to take together.

“This was her undoing as mixing them created a toxic cocktail.”

A workman found the 54-year-old lying on the ground by a work cabin.

He had first seen her handbag which was lying on the ground then found the body shortly after lying just 10ft away.

Despite the combination of alcohol and painkillers, the inquest ruled that Mrs Coulter’s death had not been suicide.

Dr Dariusz Golka, consultant histopathologist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “The amount of drugs taken were not anything like the amount people take when deliberately trying to take an overdose.

“This was a text book case of alcoholic liver disease. The damage meant her capacity for detoxifying was impaired.

“There is a danger in taking drugs with alcohol, it can be life threatening, especially when coupled with hypothermia as it was winter.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mrs Hind added: “There is no shred of evidence to suggest she wanted to take her on life despite having left the house after an argument. There was a lot of building work taking place in that area, it seems she has fallen on the ground and been concealed by rubble.”

Her son David Currie paid tribute on behalf of the family saying: “She was a caring, happy mother to her four children throughout our childhood.”