A WIGAN woman who had abused drink and drugs for two decades died of a heroin overdose, the Wigan coroner was told.
Cheryl Haselden, 38, was found collapsed in the “beautifully kept” flat in Hindley Green her loving parents had set her up with in an effort to turn her life around.
The fact that popcorn was found scattered around her body on the floor suggested that she had suffered a sudden collapse and there was no evidence offered that she had intended to take her life.
A post-mortem examination revealed that the former bakery worker from Atherton Road, who was fighting Hepatitis B and C and cirrhosis of the liver, had taken a fatal amount of the drug.
Wigan Infirmary pathologist Dr Stephen Wells found that the mum of one - her daughter Amber is being brought up by her own parents David and Dorothy - had 473 microgrammes of the drug in a litre of blood. The toxic level can be as low as 50 microgrammes.
And coroner Jennifer Leeming heard that because Cheryl was trying to beat her addiction and struggled with long periods of abstinence, she would have lost some of her tolerance to the “street heroin” and its effects would then have been more pronounced.
She may have also suffered brain damage, weakening her ability to tolerate the effects of the drug, after collapsing with a heart attack at her brother’s birthday party a month before her death on August 3.
Her father and mother, in a statement, described Cheryl as “very warm and loving”.
But they said that they were very concerned when, as a younger woman, she formed a relationship with an “unsavoury character” who may have introduced her to drugs.
Because she worked nights at the bakery and did her socialising during the day, when they were both at work, it was some time before they were able to establish if she was taking drugs and drinking to excess.
They successfully encouraged her to enter into repeated successful periods of rehabilitation, but she would relapse.
Verdict: Accidental death due to misuse of drugs.