Woman drowns in the bath while under the influence of alcohol

By ADAM LAZZARI A WOMAN with a history of alcohol problems drowned in the bath when she was drunk. At an inquest at Fenland Coroner s Court, Wisbech, yesterday doctor William Landells, pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King s Lynn, said Brenda Brid

By ADAM LAZZARI

A WOMAN with a history of alcohol problems drowned in the bath when she was drunk.

At an inquest at Fenland Coroner's Court, Wisbech, yesterday doctor William Landells, pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, said Brenda Bridgeman had 343 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in her system.

This is approximately four times the drink-drive limit.


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Mr Landells said: "It is generally accepted that a reading of 400 is a level that can lead to death.

"I believe that she died by drowning while under the influence of alcohol."

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Ms Bridgeman, 52, who died on September 24, had recently been living at her friend John Britton's flat on Albert Court, Wisbech.

He said that she had been struggling to pay her rent and wanted to move away from her circle of friends.

On the day of her death she drank a large quantity of alcohol.

Mr Britton said: "Brenda went for a bath and I feel asleep in front of the television. When I woke up I went to get some food and called Brenda to ask if she wanted something to eat. There was no response to I went upstairs and knocked on the bathroom door. I then went into the bathroom and found her body in the bath with her head under the water."

Mr Britton then pulled the body out of the bath and made several attempts to resuscitate her.

He called 999 and paramedics confirmed her death at 5.48pm.

Doctor Landells said there was no sign of progressive alcohol disease in Ms Bridgeman's body.

He explained that her drowsy condition would have been caused by drinking during a few hours rather than months.

Ms Bridgeman had sought help from the charity Drinksense without success.

North and East Cambridgeshire coroner William Morris declared the cause of death to be: 1A drowning and 1B alcohol overdose.

He returned a verdict of accidental death.

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