Mum died in overdose day after being drunk at cinema with son
J. Eastman Yargio
Nov. 06, 2019
A mum-of-three overdosed after she was arrested for being drunk and in charge of her son at the cinema, an inquest heard.
Emma Taylor, 44, had hidden her drinking from Justin, her husband of 10 years, by hiding alcohol in mixer bottles, the coroner was told.
The inquest heard that she had knelt by his side and told him ‘I am sorry’ the day she was arrested on April 12.
He then went out with the couple’s three children the next day, and came home to find her unresponsive on the floor.
Justin called for an ambulance and she was rushed to Royal Berkshire Hospital, but later died after going into cardiac arrest.
A toxicology report showed she had consumed vodka and had fatal levels of Venlafaxine, an antidepressant, and Pregabalin, used to treat epilepsy and anxiety.
Justin, of Twyford, near Reading, told the coroner that his wife’s personality would ‘quickly change’ when she had been drinking.
He said: ‘Three years ago Emma’s relationship with alcohol deteriorated. She started drinking secretly, she could become a horror, in public she could be a liability.
‘Any amount of alcohol seemed to start her off. Last summer, she lost her job and her driving licence.
‘It is difficult to reconcile the Emma that we knew and loved, the Emma who put everyone else’s needs before her own, who could never break a rule, could never arrive at a friend’s house without flowers.
‘It is difficult to recognise that in the Emma who was arrested for being drunk with a minor, who died alone on our floor.’
Emma was previously sent home from her job for being drunk and lost her licence after drink-driving on July 7 last year, the inquest heard.
She was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £30 to victim services during a hearing.
The coroner was told she had worked at Burberry as a PA for five years, but later took a job at a local pottery store as her condition worsened.
Justin said: ‘Emma had reached out to a number of employment agencies. She had applied for a number of jobs and was looking forward to getting her driving licence back.
‘She was constantly on the phone to the DVLA trying to confirm a date.’
Ian Wade QC, assistant coroner for Berkshire described Emma’s death as the ‘culmination of a desperate story’.
He continued: ‘Things had become really quite severe from about 2016 onwards when she had turned to drink as her way of dealing with whatever demons troubled her.
‘These were probably things that had played on her mind for some time.
‘Her difficulties were, in many ways for her and in conjunction with her doctors and therapists and family, something to grapple with and she found that a challenge and she is not the only one.’
Mr Wade recorded a narrative verdict, stating that he was not convinced Emma’s overdose was sufficient evidence for suicide.
He said:’The reason for her taking a fatal dose of Venlafaxine is not clear.
I can well imagine that she had become so unhappy that she was desperately trying to find something to make her better, something to make her feel better about herself.
‘I can imagine there was a kind of incoherence, a lack of thought about what she was doing.’