Inquest: Overdose led to depressed former Sheffield mum’s death

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A DEPRESSED mum died after taking an overdose of prescribed drugs at her home, an inquest heard.

Kathryn Newton, aged 65, who had suffered from depression for years following the birth of her second daughter, was ‘in a dark place’ mentally, her husband told the court.

“She wanted to get better,” Michael Newton said. “Depression is a most dreadful illness that is not well understood and very difficult to treat. She was a victim of it.”

The couple, formerly of Sheffield, had moved to Hathersage where Mrs Newton was unhappy, the court heard.

Her husband, a retired company director, returned home from playing golf one day in March this year to find her still in bed and complaining of feeling sick. She came downstairs in the evening and told him she had taken a lot of tablets and needed to go to hospital to have her stomach pumped.

Mrs Newton had difficulty standing, and was driven to Chesterfield Royal Hospital by her husband, as he considered that would be quicker than calling an ambulance. She died there two days later.

Post-mortem tests revealed her death had been caused by high levels of lithium and venlafaxine.

Mr Newton told the Chesterfield inquest: “She wasn’t able to tell me how many tablets she had taken. She knew how dangerous lithium was.” He added he believed she may have taken the overdose to ‘blot out’ how she was feeling, not to make a deliberate attempt to end her life.

Coroner Nigel Anderson recorded a narrative verdict on Mrs Newton, of The Dale, saying: “She took an overdose of prescribed medication. The reasons remain unclear.”