'Accident' verdict on mum-of-four

A mum-of-four from Chorley died from a cocktail of alcohol and prescription drugs less than two weeks after the death of her mother and 18 months after her sister.

An inquest at Preston Coroner's court heard that Tanya Bamber, of Fielden Street, Chorley, died at home from a mixture of vodka, anti-depressants and morphine, which she had been taking to remedy chronic pains in her knee.

The 33-year-old was getting over the death of her mother Suzanne Lyons 12 days earlier and had lost her sister 18 months before her own death, the inquest heard.

Her sister, Sarah Ann Lyons, died in a suspected suicide in May 2006 after receiving psychiatric treatment at the Avondale Unit at Royal Preston Hospital.

Sarah Ann had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and police had to break into her flat where they found tablets next to her body.

The inquest was told that Mrs Bamber had a history of depression and self-harming and had been visited by a community nurse in the weeks before her death. Consultant pathologist Dr Mark Pitt told the inquest that the amount of prescribed morphine was one-and-a-half times the therapeutic level.

Dr Pitt added that she had moderate levels of alcohol and a therapeutic amount of anti-depressants in her system at the time of her death on November 1 last year.

Her husband, Alan Bamber, gave evidence at the inquest.

He said she had spent most of the day in bed and he found that she had stopped breathing at 8.10pm.

Mr Bamber, who is a retired nurse, said: "We had taken the dog for a walk and she just said that she would lie down. She was playing her music and went to sleep.

"I picked the kids up from school and made the tea before I went upstairs at 6pm and then watched Emmerdale and EastEnders.

"She was upset that she didn't get her mother's ashes that she was going to pick up that day, but otherwise she seemed fine.

"She was depressed after her sister died 18 months before.

"Her mother died in hospital, her death was expected and she said we just had to carry on."

PC Adrian Sergeant, of Chorley police, was also called to the house, he said: "I made resuscitation attempts and the paramedics took over when they arrived."

In recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Nicola Mundy said: "Mrs Bamber had suffered two bereavements, one of which was her sister and more recently that of her own mother.

"It seems, however, that Mrs Bamber was coping well with the death of her mother, indicating that she wanted to carry on, and was motivated by her strong family ties and the love for her children.

"Mrs Bamber took prescribed medication to assist her with pain control and, unfortunately, on this occasion the combination of

medication she took together with an amount of alcohol caused

her cardio-respiratory system to stop."