A HAMPSHIRE woman who overdosed on prescribed medicine was seen "swigging" them from the bottle during a night with friends, an inquest heard.

Karen Sharpe was found dead at her home in Knowle, near Fareham, after accidentally taking a fatal mix of drugs, Winchester Coroner's Court was told on Thursday.

The 56-year-old, of Manley House, Portland Way, suffered from a range of mental health conditions including depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). She was prescribed liquid morphine in September last year for a foot injury.

Her son, Chi Sharpe-Lam, told the inquest how she enjoyed a night with friends at her flat three days before she was discovered dead.

"They went around, she was in good spirits, they had some drinks together, they had a curry," Mr Sharpe-Lam said of the night, on October 24. "She was not taking it as you would on medication - she was swigging it from the bottle."

Over that weekend, Ms Sharpe's concerned mother asked neighbour John Fry to check on her as she had not been in touch.

On entering the flat, Mr Fry found her lying dead on her sofa, he said in a statement read to the hearing.

Blood tests revealed that Ms Sharpe had taken three times the prescribed dose of morphine.

Dr Adnan-Al Badri, consultant pathologist at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, said: "She didn't take a toxic amount but she took more than the prescribed dose.

"That in combination with other drugs she had had obviously adversely affected her ability to breathe. It affected her brain and central nervous system."

Senior central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of drug-related death.