The Helston mother of two young children died alone in her bedroom after overdosing on heroin, an inquest heard yesterday.

Elizabeth Baker was found in the bedroom of her flat in Kingsley Way on April 29 last year.

The 39-year-old had a history of psychiatric problems and was known to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, during which time she would also take non-prescriptive drugs.

Dr Jeremy Scott, a consultant psychiatrist who had treated Mrs Baker for the previous six or seven years, said she suffered from a schizophrenic illness that improved when she was on medication and was even better when she did not use drugs and alcohol.

"We found over the years that in a state of sobriety she was an extremely pleasant and agreeable lady, courteous and well-motivated. By contrast, when using alcohol she was chaotic," he said.

Dr Scott said her drug abuse usually only occurred during periods of insobriety, adding: "It was rarely present when she was sober and in control of her actions."

Despite the inquest hearing that Mrs Baker had suffered a number of overdoses between 2005 and 2007, Dr Scott did not believe she had intended to take her own life last April as she was not suicidal when sober.

Mrs Baker was found by her father-in-law Llewellyn Baker, who visited her home after she failed to keep an appointment the previous day. She had been due to visit her two children - aged six and 12 at the time - who were being brought up by her mother, Christine Mason. Mrs Baker lived alone after separating from her husband Isaac.

After finding the front door locked Mr Baker borrowed a ladder from a neighbour and climbed into the house through an upstairs window. Upon finding Mrs Baker he called the police.

Mrs Baker was last seen alive by her friend and neighbour Robert Sellars at 7pm on Friday, April 27. He described her as being drunk at the time.

A toxicology report carried out by Dr Emmanuel Abu found evidence of alcohol in her blood, as well as 153 grams of morphine in every litre of her blood.

Dr Abu told the inquest that morphine was the resultant product of heroin being broken down by the body and the levels indicated would have been sufficient to cause death. "I think this is most likely a case of heroin overdose," he added.

Dr Peter Blackwell-Smyth, assistant deputy coroner, recorded a verdict of death as the result of a non-dependent use of drugs.

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