A WOMAN found dead in the stairwell of a Wrexham car park had a history of substance misuse, an inquest heard.

But toxicology tests ruled out the death of Donna Marie Hughes was drug related.

The 46-year-old’s body was discovered at St Mark’s Car Park on December 10 last year by Moya Pearson who was parking her car.

Ms Pearson said in a statement read out at the inquest hearing held at Wrexham's Guildhall, that on the way back to her car with a ticket she spotted what appeared to be a homeless person slumped in the stairwell.

She said that the colour of her hand was “purple, a hypothermia colour”.

Paramedics and police attended but Ms Hughes was already dead.

CCTV footage showed she was with an unknown man before entering the main entrance of the car park on her own, but no drug paraphernalia was found near her body.

A statement from Dewi Richards, a deputy ward manager at the Hedfan mental health unit at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital site, confirmed Ms Hughes was managed by the Substance Misuse Team for many years.

She was admitted to a detox facility on June 18 last year for an assessment, but she discharged herself and remained homeless.

Later in July she was resuscitated in the emergency department at the hospital after taking an overdose of the psychoactive drug mamba.

She later failed to attend an outpatient appointment and didn’t engage with the substance service, although she had told them she had received £4,000 in welfare backpay and was using it to buy large quantities of cocaine, while continuing to use crack cocaine and black mamba.

She was said to be taking “illicit substances in a large quantity”.

But a post-mortem could not ascertain the cause of her death. Only low traces of a cocaine metabolite, anti-depressants and a Parkinson’s drug was found in her blood stream.

The hearing was told that Ms Hughes’ mental health issues along with her substance misuse suggested the need for both services to work more closely together with similar patients going forward.

John Gittins, coroner for North Wales (East and Central) recorded an open verdict on Ms Hughes, who was of no fixed abode, and said: “There appears to be a lack of conjoined thinking between mental health and substance misuse but I have been reassured that steps have been made to address that.

“There is a distinct possibility that her death could be associated with the lifestyle choices she made, but possibly is not adequate so I am unable to reach a conclusion."