Painkillers led to death

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A HOUSEWIFE was found dead by her husband after she accidentally took too much of his painkillers.

Susan Kingsman, 51, of Hartfield Meadow, St Leonards, had taken the morphine-based tablets because of severe pain in her jaw and teeth. Her husband Christopher found her sitting in the lounge when he returned home from work.

An inquest into Mrs Kingsman’s death, which happened on March 17 last year, was held on Wednesday.

Mr Kingsman said: “Susan was a loving and caring person but did suffer from depression. She had very good days and bad days.

“But her mental state was not an issue and she had just been told she was going to be a grandmother for the first time and was over the moon. The day before was also my son’s birthday and she was in high spirits.

“I am prescribed morphine for a medical condition and that is how I think she may have got hold of it.

“She was unable to walk very far so would not have left the house,” he added. Susan would not be silly enough to take too much deliberately.”

Dr Ian Hawley, pathologist at the Conquest Hospital, said Mrs Kingsman took anti-depressants, and combined with the morphine and her suffering from broncho pneumonia, this killed her.

Her GP, Dr Gautam Sengupta, said Mrs Kingsman had a long history of depression and was suffering from a bad chest infection two months before she died but refused to go to hospital.

Deputy coroner Joanna Pratt said: “It is likely that Mrs Kingsman took some of her husband’s morphine-based medication but unfortunately she took a large amount, which combined with other factors, led to her death.” Verdict: accidental death.