A WOMAN was found lying dead at her Winchester home after taking an overdose, an inquest heard.

Amanda Dewhurst was discovered at the Limetree Walk property, where she lived alone, by her husband who lived a short distance away with their son.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard that she had last been seen by a neighbour on March 12, two days before.

Paul Dewhurst had gone to her home to check on her as he usually did, but could only see through the window that the TV was on.

Becoming concerned, he managed to move the curtains slightly to get a better look, before seeing the 42-year-old lying on the bed unconscious.

He called police to break into the home, but they found she had already died.

The inquest heard that Mrs Dewhurst had suffered with a number of mental and physical health issues, as well as alcohol dependency.

She had sought help from the Southern Health Trust and addiction service Inclusion, but it had proved unsuccessful.

Pathologist Dr Hayley Burnley said that there was no alcohol in her body at the time of her death, but said there was evidence of prescription medication and morphine.

Dr Burnley said that it was this combination that caused her death, although the inquest heard that she had only been prescribed morphine once in December, raising questions over the source of the morphine.

Recording a conclusion of drugs-related death, senior coroner Grahame Short said: "I find the most plausible explanation for the high level of morphine in her blood to be that she acquired it illegally.

"It is also relevant to note that she was not apparently taking medication as prescribed."

Mr short added that although it was "possible that she intended to take her life", there was no evidence of intention.

He was not able to determine exactly when she died, but said it was likely to have been closer to the March 12 than March 14 due to the condition of her body.