Inquest rules Exmouth woman’s death ‘drug related’

County Hall in Exeter.

County Hall in Exeter. - Credit: Archant

An Exmouth woman with a history of depression and alcohol abuse died a drug-related death, an inquest heard.

Julie-Ann Windslow, 48, of Chatham Close, was found dead by her husband in the couple’s bedroom on November 13, 2015.

Consultant pathologist Dr Paul McCullough gave the cause of death as morphine toxicity.

Dr Elizabeth Earland, the coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon, recorded a conclusion of a drug-related death.

She said: “I am satisfied that overnight on November 12 and 13, 2015, Mrs Windslow, who had a history of depression, overdose and alcohol dependency, was receiving zomorph for her pain.

“She ingested a fatal quantity but I am not satisfied that she intended to kill herself.”

The inquest heard Mrs Windslow had a history of depression and drug overdoses dating back to 1995.

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She was diagnosed with mixed depression and anxiety disorder in 2001 and four years later overdosed on her medication.

Five years later she went into alcohol detox and in 2012 was admitted to hospital with pancreatitis.

The inquest heard her husband had checked her at 8.30pm on November 12, and said she was ‘snoring’ on her bed.

When he checked on Mrs Windslow the next morning he said she was lying in the same position as she was the previous night.

After trying to wake her, Mr Windslow realised his wife was dead and asked daughter Freya to phone the police.

A statement from PC James Labie said that, on arrival at the house, paramedics confirmed Mrs Windslow’s death.

The inquest heard how he was joined at the house by DS Pete Boorn, who noticed pills in Mrs Windslow’s hand.