Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 22:04 UK

Ex-soldier died of drugs overdose

A former soldier, found dead in a caravan in Norfolk, died of an overdose of drugs while suffering mental health problems, a coroner has ruled.

Chanice Ward, who was discharged from the Army on medical grounds against her will, died on 3 April after taking painkillers and anti-depressants.

The coroner said he was not certain she had wanted to take her own life.

The inquest heard Miss Ward, 29, who had a mental disorder, died in Barford of a "self-administered overdose".

'Family shocked'

Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong said there was "insufficient evidence" to make a judgment about her intention at the time.

Miss Ward had served six years in the Royal Medical Corps as a combat medic and ambulance technician before she was discharged.

She won service medals from Bosnia and Kosovo.

Days before her death she was pursuing a case for compensation with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.

Her family and friends have said they were shocked she had taken an overdose.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with the family of Chanice Ward at this difficult time.

"We have been awaiting medical evidence to be released by the coroner to proceed with this claim under the War Pension Scheme. We will now consider this claim as quickly as possible.

"Treatment for mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress, is also available for veterans through six community-based mental health pilot schemes the MoD has created with the NHS."



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