Police arrested a man on suspicion of murder when his alcoholic partner was found dead after falling down their stairs.
But medical tests proved Linda Bradley (47) died from alcohol poisoning because she had nearly six times the legal drink-drive limit in her blood.
Forensic experts and doctors who examined Ms Bradley decided her injuries were consistent with her falling down the stairs rather than the result of any kind of assault.
It was also revealed that Ms Bradley’s partner, Lee Spicer, had dialled 999 and followed ambulance service instructions on resuscitation after he came home to find Ms Bradley unconscious on the floor in the hallway of their home in Elizabeth Crescent, West Pinchbeck.
Dr Murray Spittal, assistant coroner for south Lincolnshire, concluded Ms Bradley died on April 26 last year as a result of ethanol (alcohol) toxicity but said a head injury resulting from her fall may have contributed to her death.
Dr Spittal read statements from police and doctors at an inquest held yesterday (Wednesday) in Boston.
A statement from Det Chief Insp (DCI) David Cox said Mr Spicer had dialled 999 at 4.12pm and followed ambulance service instructions on resuscitation. East Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics arrived at 4.18pm and Ms Bradley’s death was confirmed at 4.28pm.
DCI Cox said the bulb was missing from the landing light, windows were covered with towels – which stopped daylight getting in – and Ms Bradley was found to be wearing loose fitting, woollen slippers.
He said police had investigated a report of a domestic assault by Mr Spicer on Ms Bradley in March 2014, but that did not result in any charges.
DCI Cox said, when interviewed, Mr Spicer referred to Ms Bradley shortly before her death as going through a bout of heavy drinking, which he described as a “bender”.
A pathology report showed Ms Bradley had 466mgs of alcohol in blood – more than 5.8 times the drink-drive limit – and that reading is within the range associated with fatalities.