Solicitor who ‘enjoyed life to the full’ found dead at home

A fun loving solicitor died at home while her husband was away on a business trip, an inquest heard.

Alison Frances Hales, 59, of Arlington Road, Camden Town, died in November last year when her heart stopped, St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard last on Thursday, March 8.

Her husband Richard Hales, a computer consultant, last spoke to her on the phone on November 30 and said she sounded “normal and cheerful”.

But when he arrived home from Scotland two days later, he was unable to enter their home as the door was double locked and chained.

The inquest heard Mrs Hales had problems with her liver in the 1980s and was told she should not drink alcohol.

She abstained until 2011 when she began drinking up to two bottles of wine a day, her husband said.

A blood sample revealed she was more than twice over the legal driving limit when she died, but assistant deputy coroner Sean McGovern recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

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He said: “It probably was related to drinking but we can’t be certain of that.

“Mrs Hales was a woman of some distinction. She was a popular woman, well liked and well regarded.”

Mrs Hales was extensively involved with the University Women’s Club, for graduate and professional women of many backgrounds, and became its honorary chairwoman from 2004 to 2007.

Paying tribute to her friend and colleague Lorraine Hall said: “She was absolutely full of the joys of spring and she had the most infectious laugh.

“The club was her life. She would be there almost every other day. She supported the club in every way possible and more.”

At her funeral Humanist speaker Rick Prior said: “She was a highly energetic and fun loving human being.

“Alison was always smiling and had a keen sense of humour. She could take a joke and you could tell by her demeanour that she enjoyed life to the full.”