A WOMAN died after taking a cocktail of illegal drugs — despite having only tried them a handful of times before.

Nikola Jane Bradford was found dead by her mother at her Leigh home on December 1.

An inquest heard that post-mortem examination showed she had taken amphetamine, MDMA and a fatal dose of cocaine.

Area coroner Alan Walsh concluded Miss Bradford had died after taking the illicit drugs and said her inexperience with such substances could have meant she did not realise how the quantities of those drugs would affect her.

He said: “In absence of any evidence to the contrary, I accept that Nikola was not a regular user of those drugs.

“It is important Nikola’s case is highlighted in relation to the misuse of drugs particularly when there is no greater history of use of drugs in the past.”

The inquest at Bolton Coroners’ Court heard how Miss Bradford’s father had died in a road accident in 2001 and since then she had broken two vertebrae after a fall and fractured her skull some time later.

She developed an addiction to over-the-counter pain killers but no trace of these drugs were found in her system after her death.

Mr Walsh said: “I am sad because she was 36, she had problems in her life and she had pain that she had difficulty dealing with.

“The mystery is the access and use of illicit drugs. It is unlikely that the source of the drugs will ever be found as no one will admit to selling drugs.”

Several healthcare professionals who were involved in Miss Bradford’s care before her death gave evidence at the inquest.

Justin Aliyone, a mental health practitioner at Salford Royal Hospital, assessed her on November 22 after she was admitted to hospital having taken an overdose of pain killers.

He was satisfied she had taken the pills for the pain and not in an attempt to end her own life but referred her for further assessment.

Mr Aliyone was aware Miss Bradford, a communications officer for Greater Manchester Police, had taken illicit drugs in the past but only ecstasy three or four times in the past 10 years.

Mr Walsh concluded Miss Bradford, who lived in Bedford Square, had died due to misuse of drugs and it was recorded that the cause of death was from cocaine in combination with amphetamine and MDMA.

After the inquest, her mother, Dianne Westwell, said: “It is such a waste of a life. She was a beautiful girl and we all really miss her.”