Woman's cocktail of death

A woman involved in the murder of a Wigan man died after mixing drink and anti-depressants.

An inquest heard alcoholic Sylvia Marsh, 53, of Hunter Road, Marsh Green, took a non-fatal amount of alcohol and tablets, but the combined effect proved too much for her damaged liver.

In a statement, Mrs Marsh's GP said he prescribed medication after she visited the surgery suffering from anxiety and depression several times in the months before she was due to be tried for the murder of John Speakman.

She later pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. The

murder charge was dropped.

Mr Speakman was found stabbed and battered to death at his home on June 6 last year. Two men – David Haley, 39, and Christopher Freeburn, 45 – were sentenced to life after admitting murder.

Mrs Marsh's lodger, heroin-user Samantha Roberts, said Sylvia would typically drink three bottles of cider a day.

In a statement to Bolton Coroner's Court she said: "We had a lazy day and spent most of it in the same bed. We were just company for each other.

"I thought she was asleep when I got up the next day but then I noticed she wasn't breathing. I gave her a shout and shook her but she still didn't answer and I noticed her face was blue."

She called an ambulance and was told how to give CPR, but when the ambulance arrived, Sylvia was pronounced dead.

Pathologist Dr Stephen Mills said there was no cirrhosis of the liver but there was damage and evidence of a condition called "fatty change."

Assistant deputy coroner Chris Welton recorded a verdict of accidental death.