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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Cumbrian woman died after drinking and falling down stairs

A woman died when she fell down stairs and hit her head after drinking three quarters of a bottle of vodka, an inquest heard.

Claire Abbott, 30, of Bongate House, Appleby, had been drinking at a friend’s house when she lost her footing and hit her head on a door frame at the bottom of the stairs.

She was taken to hospital on April 6 last year but died the following day from severe head injuries.

Miss Abbott had been at the house of Michael John Lawson on St Michael’s Lane, Appleby, when she went upstairs to use the toilet. Mr Lawson, who had also been drinking, said he heard “four bumps and a crack” and found Miss Abbott at the foot of the stairs.

Panicking, he then went to ask neighbours for help.

Susan Anne Bowness placed Miss Abbott in the recovery position and kept her airways clear until paramedics arrived.

Coroner David Roberts said: “Miss Abbott was five times the legal limit for driving.

“That would have had a substantial effect on her ability to walk steadily, judge distances and negotiate steep stairs.”

He added: “She lost her balance coming down the stairs as a result of having consumed too much alcohol. She struck her head very hard on the architrave of the living room door.”

Mr Roberts concluded that Miss Abbott died as a result of an accident and that alcohol had contributed to what happened.

The inquest heard that Miss Abbott had a problem with alcohol and was being treated for withdrawal by her doctor. Her father Keith Abbott said that she had kept secret the full extent of her problem.

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