Mother who had history of drug abuse was ‘let down by the system’

PUBLISHED: 16:25 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:10 01 August 2019

Norfolk Coroner's Court at Carrow House. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Coroner's Court at Carrow House. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Family and friends of a mother and grandmother who died after an overdose feel she was “let down by the system”, an inquest has heard.

Laurie Nobbs, 55, from Colegate in Norwich, was found dead in her home on October 30, 2018.

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court on July 31, heard the cause of death was drug toxicity.

Evidence from the post-mortem report, read out by senior coroner Jacqueline Lake, revealed there were "therapeutic levels" of prescribed drugs in Miss Nobbs' blood.

In a written statement, her daughter, Chanel Nobbs, said: "The GP has done wrong with my mum."

She believed her mother ended up on the wrong prescription which made her drowsy.

Miss Nobbs added: "My mother lived her life as though her church friends were her family. She was previously a drug addict but she turned to God and that helped her come clean."

Her statement added her mother had bipolar and paranoid schizophrenia and was regularly seen at Oak Street Medical Practice.

The inquest also heard that the 55-year-old had gone from being a "physical" person to being "hunched over" because of back pain, a few months before her death.

Pastor Matthew Richards, who was a close friend, said Miss Nobbs changed her GP after her previous doctor would not prescribe specific drugs for her pain, due to her history of misuse.

This was done and the drugs were prescribed.

Miss Nobbs was also getting support from Change Grow Live (CGL) drug and alcohol rehabilitation service from July 2018 to reduce her drug use.

Mr Richards, from Norwich's Radical Church, said Miss Nobbs had a "traumatic past" which involved being abused as a child.

He believed "it was the beginning of the end" for her when court proceedings started for her allegations.

"She had nightmares. Her substance misuse became problematic. Laurie was let down by the system," Mr Richards added.

Giving evidence, Jana Yaxley, CGL recovery co-ordinator, said Miss Nobbs engaged with her during sessions and wanted to reduce her drug use.

Ms Yaxley said Miss Nobbs could be "chaotic" and was "stressed" out by court proceedings.

The inquest has been adjourned to a date yet to be confirmed.

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