Woman who struggled with alcoholism died after falling down stairs, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 15:23 23 January 2019

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Carrow House, where Norfolk Coroner's Court is based. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A 47-year-old woman who had battled alcoholism died after falling down the stairs, an inquest has heard.

Tracey Salmon was found by her lodger at her home on Forsythia Road in Gorleston on April 24 last year.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate her but she was later pronounced dead at James Paget University Hospital.

The inquest at Norfolk Coroners Court heard on Wednesday (January 23) that Ms Salmon, who had worked in a care home in Great Yarmouth, had been going through marital difficulties and her home had been placed on the market for sale.

Assistant Coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson said that Ms Salmon had been “in some financial difficulty”.

At the time of her death she had been drinking alcohol, the inquest heard, and had suffered injuries after falling down the stairs.

“Whether or not that fall was alcohol-related, or drug-related, I am of the view this was accidental and not intentional on the part of Tracey,” the coroner said.

Earlier, in a statement, the deceased woman’s younger sister, Karen Taylor, said that Ms Salmon had left school at 16-years-old and had a strong interest in horses.

The inquest heard that in 1991 she had a child but the father left three weeks after the boy was born.

She later met another man and a daughter was born in 1997, after which the family moved to the Great Yarmouth area, the inquest was told.

Melanie Johnston-Smalley, friend of the deceased, said in a statement that when they first met, in 1993, Ms Salmon was a “social drinker”.

The inquest heard that she had loved animals, especially horses and dogs.

The statement described Ms Salmon’s struggles with alcohol dependency and how, in 2012, after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, she had tried to stop drinking.

“She really tried to make herself better,” Ms Johnston-Smalley said.

The inquest heard that Ms Salmon and her husband had separated and were selling their house.

A further statement, written by her GP, described Ms Salmon as “young, vibrant, intelligent and articulate”.

“She had a huge zest for life, and is a patient I will never forget,” the doctor said.

The coroner expressed condolences to Ms Salmon’s family and friends for their loss.

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