Woman drowned in garden pond

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 March 2011

Flax Bourton Coroners Court

Flax Bourton Coroners Court

Copyright Archant Ltd

A CLEVEDON mum died after she collapsed and fell face down in her back garden pond.

Paula Fussell’s body was discovered by her son, Christopher, late one evening after he returned home from a weekend music festival.

The 46-year-old suffered from diabetes and, when she was found, had drank enough alcohol to put her more than three times over the drink drive limit.

At an inquest into her death, which was held at Flax Bourton Coroners Court on Monday, a statement from Christopher said he had returned to their Streamside home from the Evolution music festival in Newcastle when he found his mum’s body on May 31 last year.

The front door of the house was locked so he let himself in at about 11pm and walked through the downstairs rooms.

He then saw his mum on the floor at the back of the property, with her head fully immersed in the pond.

PC Ian Doe, a police officer who attended the scene, confirmed there was no evidence of a struggle or any type of ‘foul play’ at the property.

A statement from her husband, Robert, revealed that Paula, who worked as a carer, had suffered from mild depression but had never mentioned feeling suicidal.

Pathologist, Dr Russell Delaney, told the inquest that Paula’s control of her blood sugar levels had not been consistent, and coupled with the amount of alcohol she had drank, was likely to have been the cause of her collapse face forward into the pond.

The cause of death was recorded as drowning and a verdict of accidental death was reached.


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