Accidental overdose tragedy

BLACKPOOL'S coroner has issued a warning about the dangers of prescribed drugs after a woman "devoted to helping people" died after accidentally overdosing.

Isabella McDonald Arthur, 62, of Nateby Close, Lytham, died on February 26 after taking extra sleeping pills to "make sure she had a really good night's sleep".

Her partner, Peter Buggins, 63, said: "She had been fine in spirits. She had been burgled three times and she had had a fall in February.

"It left her very stressed but she was her usual happy self. We had a meal together and then she did some Bible studies and watched TV."

Dr Golka, consultant pathologist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said Miss Mcdonald Arthur, who was taking prescribed antidepressants, died from a fatal combination of various drugs and alcohol.

He said: "She died from amitriptyline, codine and alcohol poisoning.

She had very high levels of ethanol in her blood and quite a high quantity of codine.

"The toxicity of amitriptyline is not far away from the therapeutic dose. It's very easy to over dose. She would have gone into a coma."

The inquest told how Miss McDonald Arthur was born in Scotland and worked as a hairdresser. The mother of one and grandmother of two lived in Southampton before moving to the Fylde 20 years ago.

Mr Buggins, who met his partner at a country music club, added: "She used to be the life and soul where ever she went. She used to throw dinner parties. She told me she'd taken a few extra pills because she wanted to get a really good night's sleep.

"We were soul mates. She was a lovely person. She was devoted to her Bible studies and would help anybody. She made clothes and necklaces for children in orphanages in Africa."

Coroner Anne Hind recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She said: "There is no evidence that she intended this to happen.

"It's a warning for people to be extremely careful when taking

medication and not to take more than the prescribed dosage."