Tribute to Wigan woman after drug death

Bolton Coroner's Court found the death of Lucy Wilding, from Hindley, was drug-related.
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An inquest heard that “well-loved” character Ms Wilding, 36, was discovered collapsed by friends at her Broadway home on August 22.

Paramedics attended and pronounced Ms Wilding, who had a history of substance misuse, dead at the scene.

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Anne Hanson, a recovery worker at Wigan’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation service We Are With You, said Ms Wilding had been on a methadone script but had continued to use heroin as well as crack cocaine and alcohol.

Bolton Coroner's CourtBolton Coroner's Court
Bolton Coroner's Court

Appearing by video link to pay tribute to Ms Wilding, she said: “I had a good relationship with her and was very fond of her, so were all the staff who came across her.

“She was a well-loved character.

“She battled with both alcohol and drugs, so there were two elements going on here.”

Her sister Alesha Wilding said in a statement that Ms Wilding had become estranged from the family and had not seen her for 10 years.

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“I knew she was using drugs and heroin,“ she said in a statement.

“She was not with people who I’d choose her to be with, bad influences.”

The inquest heard from Ms Wilding’s pal Donna Christopherson who had seen her laid out on the floor outside her flat at around 11.30pm on August 21. She said that Ms Wilding had been smoking crack cocaine during the day.

In a statement she said: “I went to Lucy’s flat at around 11am on August 21.

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“I gained entry through a bedroom window as she had lost her key the previous day.

“I climbed into the flat and knew she had taken cocaine as she was smoking it. I then left the flat.

“Later I was walking up Broadway at around 11.30pm and looked down the alleyway at Lucy’s window.

“She was laid out on the floor on her side at the front.

“So I went over and tried to rouse her and saw she was conscious and breathing.

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“I then pushed her through a window and placed her on a mattress.”

Donna went on to describe Lucy as “really intoxicated and under the influence of drugs” as she knew she had been taking heroin and crack that day.

She then said she left to go to bed and returned with friend Kirk Makin the next day to check on Ms Wilding when they then found her dead.

The hearing was told by police coroner’s officer Andrew Pickles that officers had found evidence of “non-prescribed drugs” at the scene.

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Mr Pickles said police had been aware of Ms Wilding’s long history of drug and alcohol abuse.

He added that police had made a referral to a complex dependency team regarding concerns they had about Ms Wilding’s mental health.

A statement read out from Dr Ganapathy Gopalswamy, Ms Wilding’s GP at Hindley Health Centre, said Ms Wilding had attended A&E on several occasions in the run-up to her death due to suspected overdoses and alcohol intoxication.

The inquest then read out a report from consultant forensic toxicologist Julie Evans, who said alcohol, calming medication diazepam, epilepsy medicine pregablin, cannabis, cocaine, opiates and methadone had all been found in Ms Wilding’s system.

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Dr David Barker, a consultant pathologist at St Helens and Knowsley hospitals, also spoke via video link.

He said the medical cause of Ms Wilding’s death was combined drug toxicity.

Recording his conclusion, coroner Stephen Teasdale said: “Ms Wilding died on August 22 at Broadway, Hindley.

“Her death was drug-related.”

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