Woman, 52, had drugs overdose

DOTING grandma Margaret Townson, a woman with everything to live for, was found dead at her home after taking an overdose of drugs prescribed to help her sleep, an inquest was told on Wednesday.

But coroner Geoff Fell, sitting at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court, said there was no evidence to suggest 52-year-old Mrs Townson, who had been taking the medication for four years, had overdosed deliberately.

Recording an open verdict on supermarket worker Mrs Townson, of Wedderburn Close, Harrogate, Mr Fell said she had been found lying on her bathroom floor. She had lived alone following divorce in 1983 after a marriage which had lasted 11 years.

Mr Fell said Mrs Townson had been described as a very busy and happy person who had a wide circle of friends and who doted on her grandchildren.

She had been prescribed anti-depressants as a sleep aid after complaining of being tired and run-down.

Her son Andrew had told police he believed his mother had become confused over her medication and had added: ‘‘She had everything to live for. There is no way she would take a deliberate overdose.’’

Recording an open verdict, Mr Fell said there was no history of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. ‘‘There is nothing whatsoever to indicate this was a deliberate act.

“It is possible she may have been confused and taken the wrong dose.’’

He was satisfied there had been no deliberate attempt to take her own life but he could not say how she came to take an overdose.

And he added: ‘‘If I was to sway any way, I would say it was an accident but I have not got sufficient evidence to come to that conclusion.’’