Alcoholism killed woman

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A verdict of “dependent misuse of alcohol” was recorded into the death of a woman who claimed she had been assaulted in her home shortly before she was found dead in bed.

Widow Vera Mansfield, who lived in a remote bungalow in Bulmer, was found fully dressed on her bed by police when the alarm was raised on May 29.

An officer managed to slide open the bedroom window from the outside and saw Mrs Mansfield, 68, lying as if asleep on her bed. She was confirmed dead by paramedics at 3pm.

The inquest in Chelmsford heard that her family had visited her the day before, taking food as they regularly did, and spoke to her through the closed curtains in her bedroom in Goldingham Bungalow.

Coroner’s officer Steve Parfrey said: “That was not considered unusual as she was unfortunately known to have a drink problem and often stayed in her bed.”

A day or two before her death, Mrs Mansfield had complained of being assaulted in her home. Essex Police launched an extensive investigation after her death but found there were inconsistencies in the accounts she had given to different people.

Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Robinson concluded that there was no evidence that Mrs Mansfield had been assaulted, Chelmsford Coroner’s Court was told.

A post-mortem examination gave Mrs Mansfield’s cause of death as “sudden cardiac death in association with fatty infiltration of the liver due to chronic alcoholism”.

Essex assistant deputy coroner Lorna Tagliavini recorded a verdict of “dependent misuse of alcohol”.

She added that the post-mortem showed no evidence of any injury inflicted by a third party, and there were no signs of a struggle or of a burglary.