THE sudden death of a 25-year-old woman that initially sparked a murder inquiry has been ruled as a suicide.

Mum-of-three Rebecca Carmella Margaret Marvin killed herself by taking a pensioner's epilepsy medicine.

She was found dead in the bedroom of a flat belonging to Thomas Barker in May 18 last year.

The 25-year-old had left a suicide note addressed to her mother which was later found at her flat in Steamer Street, Barrow Island. 

The blister packs of Valproate medication she had taken only had her DNA on them - showing she had taken the tablets herself.

Cumbria's assistant coroner Robert Chapman re-opened the inquest at Barrow Town Hall on Thursday. 

He read a statement from Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour, who said Miss Marvin had died of Valproate toxicity after high levels of the drug were found in her blood showing "excessive usage" of the drug.

He also told how several neighbours had heard a short argument between Miss Marvin and Mr Barker, who has learning difficulties, and she was later seen in an upset state the day before her death.

One neighbour, Mavis Casey, of Napier Street, Barrow, told how 69-year-old Mr Barker knocked on her door and asked her to call an ambulance and the police, saying "she's taken my fit pills", adding that Miss Marvin was dead and cold to the touch.

In her statement, which was read to the hearing, she said ambulance crews told her over the phone to go into the flat and check. She said she did so and found Miss Marvin lying fully clothed in the bedroom.

When ambulance crews arrived, they asked Mr Barker where the rest of the pills were and he said he had thrown them in the bin.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Lamb, who  attended the scene, said: "Carmella was in a single bedroom lying on the floor on her back. Mr Barker explained that she had taken the tablets. He said he had come back the night before after buying her a Chinese meal, she seemed very upset and she was taking some of his tablets in the lounge area.

"There was a strong indication that it was only Carmella who had handled the blister packs."

The hearing was told that Miss Marvin's mother had been bringing up her daughter's three children - aged three, seven and nine - and that she had last seen her daughter on May 6 and she seemed in quite good spirits.

Mr Chapman said: "She had a short life and obviously had problems in relationships and problems with softer drugs and that affected how she coped and dealt with people. She had left a note and police found evidence that she had taken tablets from Mr Barker's drawer.

"There was no other reason for her death but the tablets she had taken.

"She killed herself. It's a shame such a young life was taken."