Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Jackie-Lee SMITH

Inquest into the Death of Jackie-Lee SMITH

Delivered on :3 August 2018 2018

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was discovered by police late on the evening of 14 March 2015 in the bathroom of her unit in an advanced state of decomposition. She was 56 years of age.

In view of the concerns raised by the family of the deceased and the circumstances surrounding her death, which became the subject of much speculation in the block of flats in which she resided, the Deputy State Coroner held an inquest in an attempt to clarify the evidence available with respect to how the deceased’s death occurred. The deceased had chronic back pain as the result of an accident which required pain management with analgesics and she was medicated for anxiety and depression.

On 11 March 2015 the deceased spent the afternoon with her daughter and another friend where she appeared happy. Later that evening the deceased spent the night watching television at her unit, with a friend who resided in the same block of flats.  The deceased’s friend remained in the unit with the deceased overnight and recounted that when the deceased woke in the morning she was in a good mood.  The deceased’s friend believed the deceased was going out that day but was not clear about the details.  The deceased’s friend did not hear from the deceased again.

Neighbours became aware of a bad smell and on 14 March 2015 made a telephone call to police advising them the deceased had not been seen for a few days and there was a horrible smell coming from her unit. Police attended and upon entering the unit located the deceased.

The Deputy State Coroner concluded the evidence indicated the deceased was in a good frame of mind, she had made a tentative peace with her daughter, was apparently successful in controlling her drug seeking behaviours, and was well accepted by residents in her relatively new accommodation. There was no evidence of the involvement of a third person in the death of the deceased.

The Deputy State Coroner found the combined effects of her relatively new medication with her long acting antidepressants caused her side effects including nausea and on the morning of 12 March 2015 found the deceased slipped and fell in her bathroom as she prepared to leave her unit to visit her daughter. The position into which she fell was likely to have hastened the death.

Catch Words : Tramadol Toxicity : Positional Asphyxia : Accident.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

[ back to top ]