A MOTHER remembered as a “female Peter Pan” died in her sleep after accidentally consuming too much of her medication.

Caroline Mason, 42, was found dead in her home in Mount Pleasant, Brighton, four days after she had been partying with friends.

The Brighton-born mother of one had been out drinking with them and returned to her flat on November 2 last year.

She continued to drink with a friend until he left her in the early hours of the next morning.

She was described as a “party animal” with a very bubbly personality and likened to a “female version of Peter Pan” by her family and friends.

An inquest into Ms Mason’s death held this week at the coroner’s court in Woodvale, Brighton, heard her father Clive Mason and her 23-year-old daughter, Sadie Cheng, last heard from her on November 1, five days before she was found dead.

A concerned friend eventually called the police on November 6 having not seen her since November 2.

Officers found her lying dead in her bed covered with a duvet that same day.

The court heard Ms Mason had enjoyed a night of drinking with friends a few days earlier.

She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taking several different types of medication.

She was known to stockpile her pills and “eat them like sweeties, a row at a time” the court heard.

Toxicologist Amber Crampton said no alcohol was detected in Ms Mason’s blood by the time they examined her but said all trace of it can leave the body in 24 hours.

Given she was not seen for days, it is likely she had alcohol in her system when she died shortly after her night out, the court heard.

Ms Crampton did however find a normal level of different types of medication in Ms Mason’s blood including morphine and codeine.

She said the drugs may have caused drowsiness and, coupled with falling asleep on her back, would have likely led to respiratory failure.

The inquest heard the drugs may have also been at a higher level closer to the time of death, especially the codeine.

Coroner for Brighton and Hove Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said: “What can happen with these drugs is someone can take more than they should and they can slip into a coma.

“If that person is unconscious then it can cause respiratory failure and this can lead to pneumonia which can then lead to an infection. She is also on her back which is not helpful if your breathing is depressed. “

Ms Hamilton-Deeley told the court Ms Mason’s death happened as a result of a combination of medication and drinking rather than consuming one drug.

She said: “I think it’s a combination of everything. It’s often the cocktail that’s the problem not just the one drug.”

The cause of death was recorded as respiratory depression.

She concluded: “On the balance of probabilities I can say that she died on November 3.

“I don’t think she intended to kill herself, I think she intended to wake up and do it all again.

“This was a drug-related death but my conclusion is misadventure.”