'Bubbly' grandmother died from accidental painkiller overdose, inquest concludes

An inquest into her death was held at Centenary House in Crawley
An inquest into her death was held at Centenary House in Crawley

Tributes were paid to a ‘bubbly’ grandmother and post office manager from Hurstpierpoint at her inquest yesterday.

Lesley Ridley died after a long struggle with severe pain following a car crash in 2013.

She died aged 49 at home in Pierspoint Close on October 3 last year and an inquest into her death was held at Centenary House in Crawley.

Andrew Ridley told the inquest: “She was a good mum and wife and would always put others before herself.

“She was bubbly and her smile would light up the room. She was loved by everyone she met.”

Mrs Ridley worked as a post office manager and had a number of grandchildren.

However the inquest heard when her son Felix died it was ‘devastating’ for her and her family.

They fell behind on their bills and it ‘took its toll’ on her relationship with her husband.

In 2013 she was involved in a road traffic collision and suffered severe injuries to her hand and both knees.

She had surgeries on the knees but the inquest heard these were not successful and she was left in pain.

Mrs Ridley started smoking cannabis to relieve the pain and started to stay in bed, the hearing was told.

On October 3 she was found unresponsive in her bed, the inquest heard.

Her husband Mr Ridley said: “Leslie was not depressed towards the end but she was very frustrated by her lower body.”

He said indicated that she was looking forward to having her grandchildren visit and decorating the family home.

A post-mortem revealed that she died from an overdose of prescription drugs she had been taking for pain, including tramadol.

Assistant coroner Karen Harrold said: “I have carefully considered all the statements and evidence in particular after reading the statement prepared by Leslie’s husband Andrew and the detailed autopsy.

“Leslie had a long standing problem with both her knees as a result of being in a car accident.

“Leslie was in a significant amount of pain that led to the use of prescription medication.”

She recorded a conclusion of accidental death from taking too much pain medication.