Coroner can make 'no sense' of fatal overdose

Coroner can make 'no sense' of fatal overdose


James Preston

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Coroner can make 'no sense' of fatal overdose

A coroner has said he can make 'no sense' of the tragic circumstances behind the death of a 38-year-old woman from Maidenhead last year.

An inquest today heard Surjit Pandher died on January 18, 2013, after ingesting a fatal dose of an over-the-counter antihistamine, but mystery surrounds where it had come from and when it was taken.

The inquest, at Windsor Guildhall, heard she had met with her boyfriend, Jaspal Sandhu, at her house in Furrow Way on the morning of her death to talk about difficulties in their relationship.

In a statement, Mr Sandhu said he had questioned Miss Pandher about contact she had received from an ex-partner and she held a knife to her face and threatened to 'ruin' it so 'no other guy will want to be with me so you have nothing to worry about'.

The inquest heard the pair began to resolve their problems but Miss Pandher began to complain about a headache and went to take some tablets.

Mr Sandhu said she was only out of his sight for 'two to three minutes' but he soon noticed something was wrong.

He said he asked her what she had taken but she would not tell him before he called an ambulance for help.

He said he decided to take Miss Pandher to hospital and set off in car towards Slough in snowy conditions but turned back after receiving a call from the ambulance, crashing his Ford Focus into a parked car along the way.

Miss Pandher was rushed to Wexham Park Hospital shortly before 11am but doctors were unable to save her.

Her death initially sparked a criminal investigation but the inquest heard Thames Valley Police has now ruled out any third party involvement.

Mr Sandhu said she had told him she had a history of depression, but family members said they had not seen any evidence of this and there was nothing to indicate it in her medical records.

No packaging for the antihistamine was ever recovered, while Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said it seemed 'extraordinary' to think she would take a large quantity of tablets in the two to three minutes she was out of Mr Sandhu's sight.

Recording an open verdict he said 'we have taken this as far as we can' and added: "If a family can make no sense of these tragic events how can I, who did not even know Surjit, make sense of it at all?"


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