Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Drink confirmed as Amy death cause

Amy Winehouse was found dead at her north London home in July 2011

A second inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse has confirmed she died from alcohol poisoning after a drinking binge.

The same verdict of misadventure was recorded at a re-hearing of the inquest - after the first was heard by a coroner who did not have the correct qualifications.

The hearing was told that the Back To Black star was more than five times the legal drink-drive limit when she died, having 416mg of alcohol per decilitre of blood in her system - the legal driving limit is 80mg.

The inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court in London heard the same evidence about the singer's death as was revealed at the first inquest in October 2011.

The move to hold another inquest came after an investigation found Suzanne Greenaway, who oversaw the first inquest, did not have the correct qualifications for the role.

The singer's parents, Mitch and Janis, were not present at the new hearing and a spokesman for the family said previously that the Winehouses were "happy with the way the original inquest was conducted and did not request it to be reheard".

St Pancras Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said the star died from "alcohol toxicity", adding it was "a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality". She said Winehouse "voluntarily consumed alcohol" and added that "two empty vodka bottles were on the floor" beside her bed when her body was discovered.

Winehouse, who won five Grammy awards in 2008, was described by Dr Radcliffe as an independent woman. "She clearly had a mind of her own," she said. "But her alcohol ingestion became a significant health problem."

Dr Radcliffe said Winehouse was "repeatedly warned" about the dangers of alcohol. In a written statement, Winehouse's GP, Dr Christina Romete, said: "She was genuinely unwilling to follow the advice of doctors, being someone who wanted to do things her own way."

Dr Romete saw Winehouse the night before she died. Although the singer had been drinking, the GP said: "She specifically said she did not want to die."

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