Alexandria Pierce-Baddeley, 29, who leaves behind a nine-year-old daughter, was suffering from a nasty mouth abscess in the days before her death
A teaching assistant accidentally killed herself from an overdose of anxiety pills and wine after refusing to go to the dentist for fear of catching Covid, an inquest heard.
Alexandria Pierce-Baddeley, 29, who leaves behind a nine-year-old daughter, was suffering from a nasty mouth abscess in the days before her death.
Past medical problems meant the young mother, from Winsford, Cheshire, had resolved not to leave the house and potentially expose herself to infection.
Instead she tried to self-treat her painful ulcer with Proponal beta blocker tablets, tumeric paste and white wine.
She was found dead on her double bed the next day by her mother, who described her daughter as ‘vibrant and happy’.
Her ex-boyfriend Paul Johnson confirmed he had ended their 10-year relationship the day before her May 1 death.
During Ms Pierce-Baddeley’s final hours, she texted Mr Johnson a photo of a large number of pills with the words: ‘In 20 minutes I won’t be able to move.’
Mr Johnson said she had previously threatened to take her own life, and initially police investigated the death as a possible suicide
But at Warrington Coroner’s Court a death by misadventure was recorded following the inquest.
Past medical problems meant the young mother, from Winsford, Cheshire, had resolved not to leave the house and potentially expose herself to infection
The hearing heard that Ms Pierce-Baddeley, who worked at a special needs school, had a history of bulimia and had previously been admitted to hospital for hepatitis, sepsis and pneumonia.
In a statement read to the hearing her mother Angela Dutton said: ‘Just recently she had developed a large abscess but would not venture out to seek treatment because she was fearful of the Covid-19 pandemic and the high risk it posed to her.
‘Instead she was treating herself at home with painkillers and applying a homemade turmeric paste to the affected area.
‘The abscess was large and would have been visible to anyone if they had been asked to look at it. She had been in a lot of pain for six days prior to her death
‘I was fearful of Alexandria’s ability to safely manage her painkilling medication and was concerned she may take too many tablets or not check whether there was any risk of adverse reactions with other medication or alcohol – or even if they were safe for her to take at all.’
Mr Johnson told the court that at 10pm the night before her death he received a string of texts from her.
One showed a photo of a large quantity of pink tablets, and another read: ‘In 20 minutes I wont be able to move.’
She was found dead on her double bed the next day by her mother, who described her daughter as ‘vibrant and happy’
Mr Johnson said in his statement: ‘I never called police as I had come to expect this kind of behaviour from Alex in the past.
‘She had previously threatened to take her own life but the threats never felt real and she did it a few times. The following morning I called her but got no answer and was not able to contact her.’
Ms Dutton also said she had been unable to contact Ms Pierce-Baddeley and so went to the house and, when there was no answer at the door, let herself in.
‘I went upstairs and as I got the top and I saw Alexandria lying across the bed,’ she said.
‘I thought at first she was asleep – but when I got closer I realised something was not right.
‘There was no evidence of suicide – all I found in her bedroom was empty glass a bowl for the turmeric and a packet of Panadol with two tablets missing.
‘All her prescription medication was downstairs and in order. There were no empty packets or sleeves in the bins.’
She added: ‘When I found Alexandria she had just showered, put on clean pyjamas, her make-up was done and she had rinsed her mouth with turmeric to ease the abscess and probably took more pain relief. She then fell asleep and didn’t wake up. Presumably her body gave up.’
Toxicology tests showed Ms Pierce-Baddeley had 228 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of blood in her system – the limit for driving in blood in 80 micrograms.
A fatal level of Proponol was also discovered in her bloodstream. Police said empty bottles of wine were found around her bedroom.
The hearing heard that Ms Pierce-Baddeley, who worked at a special needs school, had a history of bulimia and had previously been admitted to hospital for hepatitis, sepsis and pneumonia
Ms Dutton paid tribute to her daughter as an affable woman who loved her family, especially her own young daughter.
Ms Dutton said: ‘She had a large circle of friends and for the most part was a happy and vibrant young woman.
‘She seemed to be in good spirits the previous night and was clapping for the NHS with her neighbours.
‘She was not the type to take her own life – had she made that decision she would have written a letter explaining why.
‘I feel her death was down to one drink too many, accidental over medication or even infection from the abscess. I find it hard to believe anyone terrified of going out because of Covid to seek treatment for an extremely painful abscess which she was treating herself the best she could would take her own life.
‘I cannot stress how much she was devoted to her daughter. She had great expectations for her and wanted to be there for her. I genuinely believe any overdose was purely accidental and not deliberate.’
Recording a conclusion of misadventure, coroner Heath Westerman said: ‘There was much for Alexandra to live for and her mother states she does not believe her daughter would have taken her own life without making any necessary arrangements.
‘Due to the large abscess she was suffering from, she was perhaps treating that by over-using her own medication along with the consumption of alcohol.
‘She was fearful of catching Covid and therefore that is an indication that she did not want her life to end.
‘I believe the consumption of alcohol and Proponol was not done with the intent to end her life but was done by means of coping with Covid 19 and the large abscess she was suffering from in her mouth.
‘She had suffered in the days before and would not visit the dentist due to Covid19 misfortune took its place and sadly it led to her death.’