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Inquest told drugs killed Pensnett mum while toddler thought she slept
11:21am Friday 13th December 2013 in News
A TODDLER told social workers his mother was sleeping as she lay dead in the kitchen of their Pensnett flat.
An inquest heard harrowing evidence of how tragic drug user Tania Burgess was found dead at her Chapel Street home after she had taken heroin.
Staff from the Atlantic House drug recovery unit who had been working with Miss Burgess called at the flat and were told by the dead woman’s three-year-old son, who was also in the property: “mummy is sleeping”.
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain heard how the 37-year-old was found in the foetal position on the floor with a wrap of powder nearby.
The inquest also heard Miss Burgess had been a drug user for around ten years but Lynn Fotheringham, from Atlantic House, said she had been clean since July 2012.
Mr Balmain heard testimony that Miss Burgess had spoken to Atlantic House staff on April 13 this year and said she believed her son was to be taken into care.
When she missed her appointment the following day, staff from the drug unit became concerned and visited her flat, where they found her lifeless body with a needle still in her hand.
Her former partner Jeffrey Hendry, who had been in contact with Miss Burgess despite their relationship ending nine years ago, told Dudley Coroner’s Court, he did not believe his former lover was free from heroin.
He said: “I think she was on drugs but she was hiding it.”
As he concluded Miss Burgess died from abuse of a dependent drug, Mr Balmain said he also had doubts about claims she was free from the grip of narcotics.
He added: “This case is unfortunately all too common and highlights what chaos can be produced in families by virtue of illegal drug use.”
He also issued a warning that injecting illegal drugs can have lethal consequences. He said: “If you inject you have no idea what you are putting into yourself, this drug, on this occasion, clearly killed her very quickly.”
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