A CARING mother who battled depression died after drinking a “catastrophic” amount of vodka.

Rebecca Ancell was troubled by alcoholism, and had twice been taken to hospital in Brighton in the days before her death.

The mother of three, formerly of Heath Hill Avenue, Bevendean, Brighton, had been living with her mother after relationship difficulties.

At an inquest into her death on Friday, it was revealed that Mrs Ancell, a Lloyds bank employee, had started to have drink problems in June last year.

On the day of her death, her mother had to pick her up from work.

Coroner Sean Horstead was told she had been referred to Alcoholics Anonymous and was getting treatment with the Pavilions service.

He recorded a conclusion of misadventure, and said Mrs Ancell, 35, had drunk so much alcohol that she was no longer able to breathe.

Her boss described Mrs Ancell as a “bubbly” colleague who had worked at Lloyds since 2003, making lots of friends.

But they had noticed a change in her mood in June last year and became aware of her alcohol problem in October.

She had some difficulty accepting the extent of the problem, denying she was drinking to excess to her support workers.

Two days before her death colleagues had to call an ambulance when she collapsed at work.

Neighbours in Maldon Road, where she was staying with her mother, had also reported their shock at finding Mrs Ancell collapsed in the street on another occasion.

The inquest, held in Brighton, heard that on January 9 this year Mrs Ancell had been picked up by her mother from work.

When her mother went out, neighbours later found her in her car drinking on her own.

They took Mrs Ancell inside and tried to make her comfortable until her mother arrived home. Paramedics were called, but because she had consumed so much alcohol, she collapsed and suffered breathing difficulties.

The coroner said: “Rebecca was a loving mother and hard-working colleague. She had difficulties and dealt with them by using alcohol to escape.

“Over time, this took its toll upon her. The difficulty with the illness of alcohol dependency is that someone needs to recognise the extent of the problem before it can be addressed.

“She was coming to that realisation, tragically by the time of her death she hadn’t come to terms with it.

“Despite the best efforts of her mother, the alcohol had such an effect on her, the levels were catastrophically high.

“Her consumption of alcohol fatally inhibited her ability to breathe.”