A SOUTHAMPTON woman was nearly seven times the drink drive alcohol limit when she died, an inquest heard.

Sarah Harwood, 39, died in her sleep at her flat in Lockerley Crescent, Maybush, on the night of July 10 last year after drinking a large quantity of vodka.

The hearing was told that her partner Deborah Drummond had called paramedics that evening after she had sent her a WhatsApp message threatening suicide.

Paramedics did not believe that Ms Harwood needed to go to hospital.

They were unsure whether she had taken any other drugs but decided it was best to let her sleep the drink off and placed her on her side on the sofa in her lounge.

Mr Drummond left her asleep snoring and went to bed. But she died during the night and was discovered by Ms Drummond the next morning.

The police were called but PC Alex Hennessey said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Dr Jeffrey Theaker, consultant histopathologist, said the causes of death were that Ms Harwood had choked on her food after vomiting, as well as acute alcohol toxicity.

Her alcohol level was 534 micrograms per 100 millilitres of blood when the legal limit is 80, making her 6.7 times the driving limit, said Dr Theaker.

He added: “That is a very considerable amount of alcohol. 350 can be fatal for a naive drinker so this is considerably more than that.” He said he had seen deaths with an alcohol level of 400.

She had other legal drugs in her system, including anti-depressants, but not at life-threatening levels. The inquest heard that Ms Harwood, a hospital ward clerk and a mother of one, had suffered depression.

Senior coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of misadventure and did not criticise paramedics for not taking her to hospital the previous evening.