Overdose death was not suicide

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A WOMAN making a determined effort to turn her life around slipped back with fatal consquences, an inquest heard.

Lisa Springall, 39, who died at her home in Glebe Road, Downham, on May 22, was said to have a history of drink and mental health problems.

Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of accidental death due to an overdose of drugs and alcohol intoxication.

The inquest heard Miss Springall had given up drinking last Christmas and he said: “This was plainly not a case of suicide.”

Andrew Lawrence, who formed a relationship with Miss Springall last September, said her confidence was returning and she was starting to look forward to life.

Mental health care co-ordinator Joanne McKinney said Miss Springall had previously been diagnosed as having an unstable personality, had taken overdoses and been admitted to hospital informally and as a result of being sectioned.

She was determined to stop drinking and made good progress controlling her emotions. On May 19, she was very clear about not intending to end her life.

“She said she wouldn’t do that to her children. She was enjoying her time with them and said how proud she was of them,” said Miss McKinney.

Gary Springall said he spoke to his daughter nearly every day on the phone. On May 21, she seemed a bit down but there was nothing to cause concern.

The day before she died, Mr Lawrence said he and Miss Springall spent a lazy day at his house. She spoke to her father and son on the phone and went back to her own home in the evening. At about 11pm he phoned her and she said an ambulance was on its way.

Mental health support worker Peter Goodrick said the ambulance was sent after Miss Springall phoned the crisis centre. She seemed very distressed and said she had taken a mixture of drugs including codeine, insulin and psychiatric medication.

The coroner said Miss Springall admitted to paramedics she had also been drinking vodka. She refused to allow them assess her and made it clear she had been in a similar condition before and would not go to hospital.

Eventually, the police and paramedics left and told Mr Lawrence to call an ambulance if necessary.

Mr Lawrence also could not persuade her to go to hospital. She fell asleep as he had previously seen her do after she had been drinking and he did not think anything different would happen.

“It wasn’t until the following morning that he woke up and sadly found her with no sign of life,” said Mr Armstrong.

Trying to force Miss Springall to go to hospital without her consent would have been unlawful, said Mr Armstrong. There was nothing anyone could have done.