A Pembrokeshire mother of three ended her life by upping her medication to levels that her body could not tolerate, an inquest has heard.

Cheryl Paula Edmondson was registered disabled following a car crash in 2015 and took medication for physical and mental health problems, Pembrokeshire coroner, Paul Bennet, heard.

In November last year she was staying with a friend in Haverfordwest as she had been feeling lonely. Her friend was aware that Mrs Edmondson was feeling down and had been consuming alcohol every evening.

On November 27 her friend collected a prescription for her. She believed that by 11pm that day Mrs Edmondson had consumed two 100ml bottles of oral morphine as well as red wine.

On the morning of November 28 she came downstairs to find Mrs Edmondson sitting on the sofa unresponsive.

She dialled 999 but despite their best efforts, paramedics were unable to revive Mrs Edmondson.

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A post-mortem by Dr John Murphy revealed a blood alcohol level within the legal drink drive limit and no indication that an excessive amount of morphine had been consumed.

However, blood samples did show the presence of other medication, including pregabalin and the anti-depressant sertraline in ‘supratheraputic’ amounts.

Dr Murphy gave the medical cause of death as cardiorespiratory depression, due to a combination of the effect of the anti-depressant sertraline with the sedative effects of other prescribed medications.

Pembrokeshire coroner Paul Bennett explained that the amount of prescribed medication in Mrs Edmondson’s system, particularly sertraline, was higher than the normal dosage that she had been taking, slowing down the body’s ability to breathe. He assured Mrs Edmondson’s family that there would have been no discomfort involved.

After hearing from Mrs Edmondson’s family Mr Bennett said that he had to decide, on the balance of probabilities, whether she had the intention to end her life and had taken steps to do so.

He cited the fact that she has been managing her medication and that there had been other instances where this had happened as evidence that this was likely.

“In cases like this when I hear evidence from the family and I form a picture of the situation, I think it’s an appropriate route to go down,” he said.

“In this particularly sad case I am driven to the view that sadly Cheryl Edmondson did have an intention to end her life in the circumstances she did on November 28 2021.

“The reason I have come to that conclusion is based around the fact that this was an individual who was on considerable medication for various things but had for many years managed without any difficulty,” he said.

He also added that Mrs Edmondson had done something similar on previous occasions.

Mr Bennett recorded a formal conclusion of suicide, extending his sincere condolences to the family.

Both www.mind.org.uk and www.samaritans.org are available to offer mental health support to those who need it.

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