March mum dies of accidental overdose day before her son’s first birthday: five months later her partner, too, dies

South Fens Business Park in Chatteris

South Fens Business Park in Chatteris - Credit: Archant

A March mum died of an accidental overdose the day before her son’s first birthday an inquest heard today (Wednesday).

Kelly Barford (34) of Morton Avenue, who was found dead in bed at the home of her partner’s father in Elliot Road on May 5, had been out enjoying a pre-celebration for her baby’s birthday shortly before her death. Her partner Shane Leonard, her son’s father, who found her body has since died and an inquest into his death listed for today was postponed.

The inquest on Miss Barford heard she had been a long-term drug addict from a teenager, but was clean, and was doing really well.

Today’s hearing at South Fens Business Park in Chatteris was told Miss Barford suffered from serious pain caused by gall stones and took prescribed painkillers including Tramadol to help her cope.

Miss Barford’s father Barry Barford said his daughter had done nine pregnancy tests when she found out she was expecting her son, because she believed she was unable to have children and could not believe she was pregnant.


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He said: “She used to take a lot of painkillers and we would tell her about it but she would have a load of tablets in her hand and just swallow them, because of all the drugs she had taken in the past she thought she was immune to them,” said Mr Barford, who spoke to his daughter the evening she died.

“She idolised her baby and was looking forward to seeing us the next day for his birthday party. She had ordered meat for the barbecue, bought new garden chairs and got lots of food and drink. There is no way she would take an overdose. She had at last got everything to live for,” said Mr Barford.

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A post mortem showed Miss Barford had a fatal level of Tramadol in her system, although the amount was only just above the safe level.

Pathologist Dr Mike Harris agreed the level was at the low end of the fatal dosage, but believed it was enough to kill Miss Barford.

Coroner William Morris was satisfied Miss Barford had not intended to take her own life and she had taken Tramadol to treat her chronic pain.

“She took too much and it was a tragic accident,” said Mr Morris, who concluded Miss Barford’s death was accidental.

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