Lethal drink and drugs killed mum

Blackpool and Fylde coroner Alan Wilson
Blackpool and Fylde coroner Alan Wilson
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An alcohol and drug dependant grandmother who narrowly avoided a jail sentence for stabbing a man was found dead on the floor of her flat.

Pauline Toth, 55, had become estranged from her family, never meeting any of her eldest son’s seven children, due to her lifestyle choices, an inquest heard.

She died in her South Shore flat in September of last year, only months after being given a suspended prison sentence after stabbing 25-year-old Mark Ball just moments after he murdered her partner, Marc Davis.

The grandmother, who had worked as a carer, had become a regular drug user and was alcoholic, Blackpool Coroners Court heard.

Stephen Howard, 38, who lives in Cleveleys, said: “My mum was her own boss. I hadn’t seen her in years.”

Mr Howard was in court to hear the details surrounding his mother’s death, on September 23 last year.

A friend had awoken in her Lytham Road flat that morning, after they had been drinking cider together the night before, to find Ms Toth unresponsive on the floor.

He called an ambulance and Ms Toth was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her blood alcohol level was twice the drink drive limit.

Pathologist Dariusz Golka told the court Ms Toth had died from heroin and alcohol poisoning but that underlying heart problems, of cardiomyopathy, had been contributory to her death.

Senior coroner Alan Wilson, giving a verdict of accidental death, said: “There is no evidence she took her own life.

“She voluntarily took a high level of alcohol and at some point voluntarily took heroin, and the combined effects of these two proved fatal.”

Ms Toth found her partner Marc Davis, 41, dead in his own flat on Alexandra Road, South Shore, on October 14 2012.

He had been stabbed four times, including through the heart, by Mark Ball.

She chased after him and stabbed him a number of times in retaliation.

Ball was jailed and told he would serve at least 18 years for the vicious attack.

Ms Toth had been given a 20 month sentence, suspended for two years.