Tuesday, January 8, 2013
A fresh inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse found she died after a three-day alcohol binge at her flat in Camden Town – confirming the findings of the first inquest.
The second hearing was called when former assistant deputy coroner Suzanne Greenaway, who oversaw the first hearing into the troubled singer’s death in October 2011, stepped down after it emerged that she was not qualified for the job.
Her verdict of death by misadventure was rendered invalid after it was found she had been wrongly appointed to the post by her husband, former coroner Dr Andrew Reid.
Dr Reid resigned last month following an investigation by the Office for Judicial Complaints, which indicated he would be removed from office.
Ms Greenaway had overseen about 30 inquests at St Pancras Coroner’s Court during her three-year spell, nearly all of which have since been reheard.
Resuming the case on Tuesday, interim coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: “I am satisfied that, on the balance of probability, Amy Winehouse voluntarily consumed alcohol, a deliberate act which took an unexpected turn in that it led to her death.
“Thus I will record a verdict of misadventure.”
The court heard how the 27-year-old had been battling with her alcohol addiction for years, spending regular short and unsuccessful stints in rehab.
She had been on the wagon for up to 13 days before her death but embarked on a three-day drinking spree before she was found dead in her bedroom in Camden Square with two empty vodka bottles on the floor.
Ms Winehouse, who was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, had told her GP just days before that she “did not want to die” and was expecting to attend a wedding the following day with her bodyguard Andrew Morris.
Ms Winehouse was said to be her “normal bubbly self” just hours before she was found dead.
A post-mortem said that she was five times over the drink-driving limit when she died. A pathologist’s report found that she died of fatal alcohol poisoning.
None of her family attended the second inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, had criticised the coroner’s office for a series of blunders into his daughter’s inquest but said he was satisfied with the result.
Dr Radcliffe has been appointed as interim coroner for Inner North London while the Ministry of Justice recruits a new coroner.