A WOMAN died after taking a cocktail of illegal drugs despite having only tried illicit substances a handful of times before, an inquest has heard.

A post mortem, carried out after Nikola Jane Bradford was found dead by her mother at her Leigh home on December 1, showed that she had taken amphetamine, MDMA and a fatal dose of cocaine.

Area coroner Alan Walsh concluded that Nikola had died after taking the illicit drugs and said that her inexperience with such substances may have meant she did not realise how the quantities of those drugs would affect her.

He said: “In absence of any evidence to the contrary, I accept that Nikola was not a regular user of those drugs.

“It is important Nikola’s case is highlighted in relation to the misuse of drugs particular when there is no greater history of use of drugs in the past.”

The inquest at Bolton Coroners’ Court heard how Nikola’s father had died in a road traffic accident in 2001 and since then she had broken two vertebrae after a fall and fractured her skull some time later.

She developed an addiction to over the counter pain killers that she took to cope with the pain but no trace of these drugs were found in her system after her death.

Mr Walsh said: “I am sad because she was 36, she had problems in her life and she had pain that she had difficulty dealing with.

“The mystery is the access and use of illicit drugs. It is unlikely that the source of the drugs will ever be found as no one will admit to selling drugs.”

Several healthcare professionals who were involved in Nikola’s care prior to her death gave evidence at the inquest.

Justin Aliyone, a mental health practitioner at Salford Royal Hospital, assessed Nikola on November 22 after she was admitted to hospital having taken an overdose of pain killers.

He was satisfied that she had taken the pills for the pain and not in an attempt to end her own life but referred her for further assessment.

He was aware that Nikola, a communications officer for Greater Manchester Police, had taken illicit drugs in the past but only ecstasy three or four times in the past 10 years.

The inquest also heard that Nikola had said she did not use illicit drugs when asked by Karen Lee, a senior nurse practitioner for the mental health assessment team at 5 Boroughs NHS Trust, during a follow-up assessment a few days later.

Mr Walsh concluded that Nikola, who lived in Bedford Square, had died due to misuse of drugs and it was recorded that the cause of death was from cocaine in combination with amphetamine and MDMA.

Nikola’s mum, Dianne Westwell, said after the inquest: “It is such a waste of a life. She was a beautiful girl and we all really miss her.”