Woman died after New Year binge

editorial image

A 53-year-old woman with a history of alcohol problems died after a New Year’s Eve drinking binge an Oxford inquest heard on Thursday.

Assistant Coroner Nicholas Graham stated Elizabeth Farrow of Ruscote Arcade, Banbury died at her home of ‘acute alcohol intoxication’ in the early hours of January 1 after drinking through much of the day and night with friends.

Evidence from Ms Farrow’s friend, George Geoghegan, stated the pair were ‘hanging out pretty much all day’. They had gone into Banbury town centre to buy some alcohol then began drinking and continued drinking all day.

Mr Geoghegan stated he ‘passed out’ through drinking and when he woke up around 2.30am Ms Farrow was lying on the living room floor with the cat’s bed under her head as a pillow.

He stated ‘something didn’t feel quite right’ and thought it ‘unusual’ that she hadn’t taken herself off to bed as she normally did.

Mr Geoghegan briefly went to his uncle’s flat to fetch his tobacco and when he returned found Ms Farrow to be ‘unresponsive’. Paramedics were then called.

Evidence read out in court from Consultant Pathologist Elizabeth Soilleuz stated: ‘This 53-year-old had thrown an all day New Year party and consumed copious amounts of alcohol and was found by one of her guests in the early hours of the morning lying on her back on the living room floor.’ The court heard Ms Farrow had a history of alcohol dependence and was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1997. In 2009 she sustained a stab wound and two fractured fingers when involved in a ‘difficult’ relationship. Ms Farrow’s blood contained an alcohol reading of 494 at the time of her death.

Giving his verdict Mr Graham stated: “There were no injuries or suspicious circumstances. The evidence suggests Elizabeth was drinking heavily and was drinking most of the day. There’s no sign that she intended to take her own life and I’m minded to conclude that the death was alcohol related.”