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Alcoholic died after being found collapsed at her Beyton home, inquest hears

An alcoholic who was trying to cut down from drinking a litre of vodka a day died after being found collapsed at her home in Beyton, an inquest has heard.

Thurston Road Beyton.....Picture Mark Westley. (2626436)
Thurston Road Beyton.....Picture Mark Westley. (2626436)

Julie Feetham, 52, had sustained a head injury and died the following day at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

The inquest today at Suffolk Coroner's Court, in Ipswich, was told that Ms Feetham was discovered by her partner Roy Young beside her bed when he returned from work to their home in Thurston Road on November 13.

After taking advice from brain injury specialists at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, it was decided that any attempt to treat Ms Feetham who was suffering from bleeding on the brain would be futile, said Suffolk area coroner Nigel Parsley.

A police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injury sustained by Ms Feetham concluded there was no evidence of a physical assault having taken place and no suspicious circumstances.

Home Office pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift, who conducted a post mortem examination, said that although she had engaged in chronic alcohol abuse, only a low level of alcohol was found in her blood when she died.

Dr Swift said one possibility was that Ms Feetham had fallen and struck her head and suffered bleeding on the surface of the brain, which can be exacerbated in people who drink heavily.

Numerous bruises of the type found on Ms Feetham's body were often associated with alcohol abuse resulting in people having falls.

Dr Swift said the caused of Ms Feetham's death was raised inter-cranial pressure and head injury.

The inquest heard that Ms Feetham had been in touch with the alcohol misuse charity Turning Point, which had advised her she may be trying to reduce her alcohol intake too quickly, resulting in her becoming unwell.

In a statement, Mr Young said he had called for an ambulance after finding Ms Feetham, who was barely breathing. Later at hospital he was told she was unlikely to survive.

"Julie was a very good person" said Mr Young. "She loved taking the mickey if she had the chance.

"I miss Julie. I can't believe that she has gone."

The coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death.