AN “incredibly kind-hearted” Winchester woman died from a drugs overdose after buying tablets on the internet, an inquest heard.

Jennifer Whitehead bought painkillers online and was discovered unconscious in bed by her partner in the early hours of the morning.

The 33-year-old had a history of overdoses and self-harm associated with her borderline personality disorder and depression.

Ms Whitehead, of Spitfire End, Winnall, was rushed to Royal Hampshire County Hospital but later died on January 9, an inquest heard.

Her father David Whitehead told Winchester Coroner’s Court that she had been struggling with low mood.

“She was down at Christmas. She spent quite a lot of her time in her nightclothes. She found that with the distraction techniques she had, she had difficulty concentrating with those,” he said.

“There were times during her stay with us when the old Jen shone through and she was fun, joyous, but the overall impression we got was that it was not a good time for her. This was the first Christmas for a while she had spent with us, not in hospital.”

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Katherine Williams said Ms Whitehead’s mental health issues were complicated by substance misuse, as Ms Whitehead was purchasing recreational and non-prescription drugs online to act as “a safety net” with regulating her mood.

Dr Williams said: “It was challenging to address this topic with Jen. She was aware it was harmful. At times she agreed with myself that she would access the drug and alcohol service but unfortunately she declined to take that any further.”

Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri said toxicology results also showed levels of sedatives and antidepressants in Ms Whitehead’s system alongside the Tramadol, and gave a cause of death as central nervous system depression.

Grania Jenkins, of Caring Solutions UK, who carried out an investigation on behalf of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said Ms Whitehead may have benefited from a risk assessment that analysed her long-term risk, as her assessments “were very reactive.”

She added that joint discussions between the mental health team and the drug and alcohol service, which is outsourced to another provider, could have taken place.

Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said: “She was someone who acted very impulsively as part of her condition. It is possible that Jen did not intend to die and wanted to be revived.

“I accept and agree that the only root cause for her death was Jen’s use of non-prescribed drugs.

“Given that she was in the community and was an adult with capacity she had the freedom to make her own choices.

“She did not ask for professional help nor did she ask her parents or partner in the last few hours of her life. It is easy looking back to see the warning signs.”

He recorded a drugs-related death.

In a statement, her family said: “Jen was an extraordinary daughter, sister and friend to many who despite the challenges her illness brought her enriched the lives of so many around her.

“She was incredibly kind-hearted and took joy from being able to give and look out for others - whether it was raising money for charity, practical help, or just being there for someone.

“It has been a privilege to have had Jen in our lives, and although she has left us too soon, we cherish the lasting and happy memories of her and miss her dearly.”