INQUEST: Overdose to blame for woman's death

Have your say

AN inquest has finally taken place into the death of a city woman four years ago.

AN inquest has finally taken place into the death of a city woman four years ago.Jeanette Batty died on March 15, 1999, but a formal hearing could never take place because of difficulties in tracking down her friends and family.

Mrs Batty (30) died at Peterborough District Hospital hours after telling friends she had taken a large quantity of tablets.

A post-mortem later confirmed she had anti-depressant tablet residue in her system, and 56 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood – slightly less then the drink drive limit.

The inquest at Peterborough Town Hall was told that mother-of-two Miss Batty, who lived in Huntly Road, Woodston, Peterborough, had a history of depression.

In a statement, Andrew Deakin, a friend and former flat-mate of Miss Batty, said she had been having relationship problems.

He said: "We first met in Bradford about 18 months before her death.

"I was friends with her and her second husband.

"When they split up, we lived together in Bradford for a while, and then in February 1998, we moved to Peterborough."

Mr Deakin said Miss Batty was later reconciled with her first husband, who was living in Peterborough at the time, but added that the rekindled relationship did not last.

He said: "On March 14, she wanted to go and see her two children, but they were not there.

"We had several conversations on the phone. She was upset and wanted time alone."

Later that day, Mr Deakin received a call from a friend of Miss Batty, known only as Kerry.

He said: "I was told Jeanette had taken loads of tablets.

"When I got home she was talking gibberish."

Mr Deakin took Miss Batty to the accident and emergency department, at Peterborough District Hospital, by car.

She collapsed in the waiting room and doctors spent more than an hour trying to resuscitate her – but they were unsuccessful.

Recording an open verdict, city coroner Gordon Ryall said: "On the evening of her death, she had taken prescription tablets and had consumed alcohol.

"But, there is no evidence to suggest she wanted to take her own life.

"It is, therefore, appropriate that I record an open verdict."

Tablets and alcohol combination 'proved fatal'

DR CHRISTOPHER Womack, a consultant forensic pathologist, who carried out a post-mortem on Jeanette Batty, said the combination of anti-depressants and alcohol proved fatal.

He said: "The amount of alcohol she had in her body would not have been harmful.

"But, combined with anti-depressants, it was fatal.

"I also found evidence of tuberculosis in her lungs, but that played no part in her death."