Camden police officer Adele Cashman died from irregular heartbeat during chase

Det Con Adele Cashman

Det Con Adele Cashman - Credit: Archant

A fit and healthy young police officer dropped dead from a sudden irregular heartbeat while chasing two suspected thieves on Bonfire Night last year, an inquest has heard.

Det Con Adele Cashman, 30, of Camden CID, collapsed in Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize, while chasing two teenagers with colleagues on November 5.

At the inquest into her death at St Pancras Coroner’s Court this morning, interim coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said the death was unrelated to the police chase and was the result of cardiac dysrhythmia.

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Cashman’s parents Geoff and Lorraine, who live in Somerset, said: “Adele died on duty, serving the public, doing what she loved – working for the Metropolitan Police.

“Adele achieved a lot in her short life, she travelled the world, was well educated and she lived life to the full.

“We as a family are greatly comforted by the many tributes received from her friends and workmates and by knowing how many people really knew and loved her.”

The court heard Ms Cashman was a fit and healthy young woman who had completed a triathlon shortly before her death and was planning to run a marathon in Edinburgh this year.

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She joined the Metropolitan Police in 2006 and was stationed in Wandsworth before transferring to Camden in 2010, where she worked from Kentish Town police station.

The court was told Ms Cashman, known as “Del Boy” to her friends, was in a relationship with fellow Met officer Colin Baker.

On the night of her death, Ms Cashman, who lived in St Albans, was called to the scene of a mugging in Haverstock Hill.

Two men snatched a 59-year-old woman’s phone and tried to escape when they were spotted by two officers, who radioed for back-up.

Ms Cashman pulled up in Belsize Park Gardens, leapt out of a car and started to run after a teenage suspect. But she collapsed near SpringHealth Leisure Club at about 9.45pm.

Paramedics and a doctor were called to the scene before she was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, where she died an hour and a half later.

Pathologist Dr Simon Poole said the young woman’s heart and brain appeared “normal to the naked eye”.

He said: “I suggest the most likely cause of death is some sudden unpredictable disturbance to the electrical activity of the heart which has caused the collapse and death.

“It is clearly unusual but it is a well-recognised phenomenon in young people who are normally healthy and fit.”

Dr Poole told the court there was some evidence that cardiac dysrhythmia was hereditary and said Ms Cashman’s mother had a “history of cardiac rhythmic disturbances”.

He recommended the family undergo testing.

Interim coroner Dr Radcliffe recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.

Ms Cashman’s brother Adam will run the London Marathon this year in her memory. To sponsor the runners visit