THE family of a mum who suffered “unsurvivable injuries” after a brain haemorrhage said she had only just started rebuilding her life after a vicious assault seven years ago which left her with a flesh-eating virus.

Nicola Davenport was set upon at a house party in Scotland by a friend of Ulster Loyalist Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair — and subsequently developed the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis.

Jacqueline Irvine was jailed for six months — on a charge of assault to injury — for her part in the attack, following a trial in 2009.

Miss Davenport was left needing a number of operations and skin grafts around her eyelids and face, an inquest in Bolton heard yesterday.

She was prescribed painkillers, morphine, antidepressants and warfarin to thin her blood after developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in 2009.

But despite problems with heroin for which she received help in 1999, Miss Davenport’s family said she had finally started moving forward with her life.

Bolton Coroners Court heard how the mum-of-one, of Duchess Walk, Daubhill, was admitted to the Royal Bolton Hospital on December 31, 2013, after being found collapsed at her home.

She had previously complained of headaches and hallucinating, the inquest heard. She died on New Year’s Day, aged 44.

Home Office pathologist Dr Philip Lumb said: “There were no injuries to her body. Her death was caused by a naturally occurring bleed to the brain.”

He recorded her cause of death as a brain haemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), but the warfarin treatment she had received for her recurrent DVT was recorded as a secondary cause.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Simon Jones, assistant coroner, said: “The death at a very young age was from a bleed to the brain which occurred spontaneously.

"The warfarin therapy that she was having was a contributory factor because when a bleed starts it becomes hard to stop.”

After the inquest, mum and dad Pamela and James, sister Jay, and brother Julian, as well as Miss Davenport’s son Nathan Rewcroft, paid tribute to her.

In a family statement, they said: “She was a loving, outgoing person. But she never really got over the attack.

“She lost her confidence.

“She was in pain a lot and had about 20 operations.

“She was just getting herself back together after everything that happened to her.

“She will be missed terribly.”