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BOOZING BINGE KILLS MUM OF 17; Victim celebrating wedding with family.


A MOTHER of 17 died after drinking a near fatal level of alcohol at a post-wedding day celebration, an inquest heard yesterday, Mary Lawrence was found dead in her bed by her daughter on October 30, last year. Dublin Coroner's Court heard the 67-year-old's death was brought about by a combination of a toxic level of alcohol in her system and existing heart and lung problems.

Her son Stephen Lawrence told Coroner Dr Brian Farrell that his mother, from Ardla Cottages in Skerries, Co Dublin, spent the evening before drinking at home with family.

The group were celebrating a wedding that had taken place the previous day.

He said she was drinking cider but also had a naggin of vodka.

Stephen added his mother would become stubborn when drunk and would not go to bed.

She spread herself on the floor and couldn't be moved.

His brother Christopher, who lives across the road from his parent's house, came in to help and was able to get Mrs Lawrence off the floor and the two of them put her to bed at around midnight.

He said: "She was cursing us and calling us names for putting her to bed. Chris and I left the room laughing because she was giving out."

The next morning Mrs Lawrence's daughter Winifred McDonagh was visiting her parents' house and went to wake her mum at 10.30am.

She pulled back the bedclothes, saw her mother's face was purple and knew something was wrong.

She called for help and ran outside.

One of Mrs Lawrence's other son's Anthony tried CPR, the court heard, but she had been dead several hours before she was discovered.

Dr Farrell told the family it was likely Mrs Lawrence had died in the hour or two after she had gone to bed.

A postmortem found Mrs Lawrence had a toxic level of alcohol in her system at the time of death of 277 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.

The fatal level for a woman is 300 milligrams.

However, Mrs Lawrence also suffered from high blood pressure, emphysema and had an enlarged heart with moderate heart disease.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as the combined effect of acute alcohol intoxication and her existing heart and lung conditions.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2012
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