A YOUNG mother who died of a drugs overdose had a long history of substance abuse since the age of 14, an Enniskillen inquest has heard.
23-year-old Natasha Tipping, was found dead in a house in Trillick after taking a concoction of drugs in August last year.
There were emotional scenes at Enniskillen court as Natasha’s family and friends sat in the small public gallery to hear the details surrounding the young mum’s tragic death.
She had consumed over 20 drugs including ten fake Diazepam tablets, ten Tramadol and two Mirtazapine tablets.
Natasha had a long history of drug abuse, depression and self-harm and had been referred to drug addiction services by her family doctor.
Her GP said that she made many attempts to “clean up her life” but that she kept resorting back to drugs.
Tracey Elliott, Natasha’s mother, who was visibly upset throughout the hour-long proceedings, told the court that she saw Natasha every day until her daughter was sent to prison.
She said that she looks after her grandson who has lived with her from a young age.
In the hours leading up to her death, Natasha had been with her boyfriend Aidan Donnelly – who she met while she was in Hydebank prison – and both had been staying at a house belonging to a friend, Daniel Mullan, after Aidan claimed to have received threats.
The couple, who had only been dating a few weeks, often took fake Diazepam tablets together and while Natasha would take up to 20 of these a day she would also take a heroin substitute and yellow tablets known to be valium.
On the night of August 25 last year Aidan Donnelly was arrested at Mr Mullan’s girlfriend’s house in Woodview Crescent in Trillick. In his evidence Mr Mullan told the court that he only met Natasha the day prior to Aidan’s arrest and described her as a nice but shy girl.
He said: “A few hours after Aidan was arrested I walked Natasha round to my house where she was staying. She seemed to be fine and told me she would call round the next day so I left.”
A few hours later Aidan’s brother, Lee Donnelly, called to the house with a group of friends. Giving evidence in court he said: “When Natasha answered the door she was completely out of it. She went straight into the bedroom and I followed her in, she tried to talk to me but I couldn’t make out anything she was saying. She started to reach out in to thin air and then fell back on to bed.
“I thought I would let her sleep off whatever it was she had taken so I went in to the sitting room and we played Xbox for a few hours.
“I checked on her a number of times and she looked like she was sleeping so we left.”
However, coroner James Kitson said that unbeknown to Mr Donnelly, Natasha was slipping into unconsciousness and her loud snoring was an indication she needed medical help.
The next day, at around 1pm, a worried Mr Mullan called to the house where he found Natasha dead in the bedroom. He called for an ambulance and she was taken to South West Acute Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Coroner Kitson recorded her death as an overdose of Tramadol. He said: “It is such a waste of a young life and very tragic.
“I hope some lessons will be learned.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere