THE body of a Brighton Hill woman was found slumped in a chair in her home by a friend, an inquest heard.

Lesley Arnold, 58, was found dead by a friend in her flat in Dankworth Road, Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, on Friday, May 22, following a morphine overdose.

An inquest held at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court earlier this month heard how friend Martin Pye had seen the 58-year-old just days before she died.

He had advised her go to the hospital after he noticed a burn on her left hand.

The inquest heard that Miss Arnold said she had accidentally poured hot water from a kettle on her hand.

After Mr Pye told her to get it seen to, she went to the doctors and the inquest heard that her arm was bandaged up and she was given medication for the pain.

He said that the 58-year-old, who the inquest was told was an alcoholic, had mentioned to him she had been drinking when the accident happened.

Mr Pye told the inquest that he had arranged to go to Asda in Brighton Way, Brighton Hill with the 58-year-old on Friday, May 22 to get some items for her garden.

But the court heard that when he knocked on her door, there was no response.

He returned to the house later in the day and knocked on the front door again and shouted for her but still received no reply.

My Pye then climbed through an open window and found Miss Arnold slumped in a chair in her living room.

He told the inquest: “She definitely would not have taken her own life.

“She was not unhappy or upset about life.”

PC Paul Moss, an officer based at Basingstoke police station, in London Road, told the inquest that he was called to Miss Arnold’s home on May 22.

When PC Moss entered the property he identified her as he had had “several dealings” with her during his time as a police officer.

He told the inquest there was a plastic beaker with alcohol on a table and half a bottle of white wine, as well as a bottle of small, white prescription tablets found nearby.

PC Moss added: “The flat was untidy and the kitchen was in quite a state and there were lots of empty plates and cutlery everywhere.

“The floor was quite clear but there was a lot of clutter around.”

Recording an open verdict, Andrew Bradley, coroner for North East Hampshire said that Miss Arnold had cirrhosis of the liver which would have caused difficulty for her body in processing the morphine.

As well as the morphine, Miss Arnold had alcohol, and prescription medication Dihydrocodeine and Sertraline in her system.

Mr Bradley added: “The difficulty I have is that I am lacking a motive because I don’t think there is anything that indicates to me that Miss Arnold intended to take her own life.

“The combination of Dihydrocodeine, morphine and alcohol overtook her and she succumbed to the combined effects of this.”