A MAN has told how he frantically fought to save the life of a dying woman in front of children playing in a park.

An inquest has heard how homeless woman Lucie Almond died in Victoria Park, Taunton, after taking a cocktail of alcohol and drugs.

Post mortem tests showed she did not have serious toxicity levels of alcohol, morphine or diazepam in her body.

But the combination of the three can cause a person to fall into a coma and suffer respiratory arrest, the inquest was heard.

Ms Almond's last permanent address before she moved to Taunton had been in Fawcus Place, Chard.

The hearing was told that Ms Almond, 43, who regularly slept rough on East Reach Steps, at the entrance to the former hospital, had been with a group of people in the park since the early morning.

A statement from Stephen Edney, who was in the group, said: "We were drinking.

"We thought Lucie was asleep and I went to wake her.

"When I moved her she was on a bench under a tree. She fell off the bench.

"I shouted at the others to get help and started pushing on her chest."

Mr Edney added that divorcee Ms Almond, who he had know for 25 years, had recently been "kicked out" of her digs in the Royal Ashton Hotel and had been warned by her GP that she could die unless she changed her ways.

She was pronounced dead shortly after emergency services arrived on the scene at around 10.30am following a 999 call to the incident on August 29.

The inquest was told that Ms Almond, who had had a dysfunctional childhood, drank 200 or more units of alcohol a week, had a history of alcohol and drug dependency and suffered from hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver.

Tony Williams, the senior coroner for Somerset, said the individual levels of drink and drugs Ms Almond had consumer were not in themselves fatal, but their combination produced a fatal toxic effect.

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.