Second inquest confirms singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 8:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 9:07pm


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A second inquest into the death of troubled British singer Amy Winehouse confirmed that she died of accidental alcohol poisoning.

The same verdict of death by misadventure was given at a rehearing of the inquest which was ordered after it emerged that the first, in October 2011, was heard by a coroner who did not have the correct qualifications.

Grammy award winner Winehouse was found dead at her north London home on July 23, 2011 following years of drug and alcohol addiction. She was 27.

The inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court in London heard the same evidence as the original inquest.

Winehouse had 416 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in her system – more than five times the British legal driving limit of 80mg.

Coroner Shirley Radcliffe said the soul singer died from “alcohol toxicity”, adding that 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.

The original coroner, Suzanne Greenaway, resigned from her job a month after giving the Winehouse verdict when an investigation revealed that she did not have the proper experience for the role.

Greenaway, who had previously worked as a lawyer in Australia, was appointed to the job by her husband, Andrew Reid, who was coroner for inner north London, in July 2009.

Under British law she would have required five years’ experience as a qualified medical or legal practitioner in Britain to become a coroner – neither of which she had.

Reid, who was suspended last year, resigned from his position last month after the Office for Judicial Complaints launched disciplinary proceedings against him.

The singer’s family did not seek a second inquest.

In England, inquests are held to examine sudden or unexplained deaths and can record any one of a number of possible verdicts including suicide or misadventure. They do not apportion blame.