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Police probe on woman's drugs death

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A police investigation has been launched following the death of a Cannock woman from a cocktail of anti-depressant drugs.

A police investigation has been launched following the death of a Cannock woman from a cocktail of anti-depressant drugs.

Officers are looking for someone who is believed to have supplied Sheila Lewis with unprescribed diazepam.

She died after overdosing on a cocktail of four different medicinal drugs on December 14 last year. It has also emerged that doctor Rabin Apta who supplied the 63-year-old with prescribed drugs is suspended from his practice for a separate case where he failed to spot a tumour the size of a golf ball in a cancer patient.

Andrew Haigh, South Staffordshire coroner, will write to the Bideford Way clinic, in Cannock, where Mr Apta practiced expressing concerns following the death of Mrs Lewis, from Cemetery Road.

Dr Rabin Apta, who lives in Weeping Cross, Stafford, was suspended by the General Medical Council in January for failing to identify the tell-tale signs of cancer and will appear back on July 2 for a hearing to see if he can start practising again.

An inquest into Mrs Lewis's death was held at Cannock Coroner's Court.

An ambulance was called for Mrs Lewis after she had collapsed on December 14 last year at her flat. She was taken to Stafford Hospital but died later that evening.

A post mortem report was carried out which revealed she had died from a cocktail of drugs. Her body contained diazepam, amitriptyline, diphenhydramine and tramadol.

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Pathologist Dr Emma Sheldon, commented in her report the drugs would not have been harmful taken in the quantity she had consumed on their own but the combination made them deadly.

The inquest revealed Mrs Lewis who suffered from depression had been taking diazepam for 30 years and her doctor was trying to gradually wean her off them.

Mr Haigh said he was confident that Mrs Lewis had not intended to kill herself. He recorded a verdict that she died from an overdose of drugs.

He said: "I will be writing to the GP's practice asking questions on behalf of the family."

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