A woman who had not been seen for weeks was found clutching a photo of her beloved dog after taking her own life.

Deborah Kay Wright-Lachlan, 54, was pronounced dead on Thursday, June 22, after paramedics entered her property on Stanley Street, Nelson, an inquest heard.

They had entered through her unlocked front door, after her GP had raised concerns that she was unable to contact for weeks.

The on-scene paramedic Samuel Roth said as soon as they entered, it "smelt like decomposition", and it was clear Deborah had been dead for some time.

She was found on her bed holding a photo of her German Shepherd dog Lachlan - whose name she had added to her surname by deed poll.

The inquest, held at Accrington Town Hall, heard paramedics spotted empty packets of prescription medication scattered all over Deborah's bedroom.

Deborah had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1989, for which she had previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act for, and was taking anti-psychotic medicines to treat it.

She was last heard from when she phoned the police on Tuesday, June 6, and said her neighbours and her GP were 'out to kill her'.

Deborah's GP, Dr Nicola Finnigan, said it was not unheard of for Deborah to lost contact for a while, due to her struggles with her mental and physical health.

She said: "We struggled to make a relationship as she was really close to the doctor before me who retired.

"We started to become closer, but it was unusual how many home appointments I had to make, and I had to text her before a phone appointment as she did not trust the phone ringing without prior plans."

Detective Inspector Tammy Woodhouse, from Lancashire Police, told the court Deborah was found in her bed with her arms crossed, holding a picture of her dog Lachlan. 

Coroner Kate Bisset gave a conclusion of suicide.

She said: "Deborah was really loved, but struggled with her health for many years.

"Because of the lack of forced entry into her home, and the evidence she was clutching her dog's picture, I am satisfied she intended to take her life."

If you're struggling with your mental health or are in crisis, you can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 - they're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.