Southsea woman died after 'cocktail' of drugs, rules coroner

A WOMAN who died earlier this year after an overdose has been praised as being ‘too nice for this world’.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 2:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 2:20 pm

An inquest has been held into the death of Emma-Marie Milne, who died on May 27 at her home in Southsea.

At Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, friends and family heard how Emma struggled with various long-term medication, which led to her eventual death. It heard that she bought medicine over the dark web.

The 53-year-old was prescribed opioids in the late 1980s, took insulin for her diabetes and had also been prescribed additional medication.

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Portsmouth Coroner's Court. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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On the day of her death, her housemate and close friend, Ed Wyatt, called 999 when he saw her passed out.

Paramedics rushed to their property but were unable to save her.

Mr Wyatt, who had known Emma-Marie for around 25 years, paid tribute to a woman who had a huge part in his life.

He said: ‘She was too nice for this world.

‘We met on Hayling Island many years ago, when we were young.

‘I never really got a handle of all her medication – I feel bad that I didn’t understand it better.’

The main cause of her death, said coroner Jason Pegg, was the 'cocktail’ of medication found in her system – some of which had been obtained illicitly.

But he added that she didn’t manage her type one diabetes properly, and the subsequent ketoacidosis would have contributed to her death.

He said: ‘In 1988 there was an incident where she suffered an injury which ended up with her being prescribed methadone.

‘That was the start of things, but she was also taking heroin and other prescription drugs, which she occasionally stockpiled.

‘She also had type one diabetes and sometimes she didn’t manage it as well as she could have done.’

A post-mortem discovered ‘established intravenous injection sites’ from historic use of heroin, and Emma-Marie’s lungs were congested.

Her methadone intake was twice the level of therapeutic use, with a toxic combination of other medication.

Following this, the coroner reached the conclusion that the cause of her death was the misuse of drugs.

Mr Pegg said: ‘Emma was a lovely, kind and warm-hearted woman.

‘I am going to formally record that she died on May 27 at home in Southsea. In combination the drugs caused central nervous compression.’

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