Login Register

Alcoholic who drowned in Stretham lake was ‘severely intoxicated’, inquest hears

By Cambridge News  |  Posted: January 11, 2014

The police helicopter was involved in the search.

Comments (0)

An alcoholic drowned in a lake after taking her dog for a walk late at night when drunk, an inquest heard.

Mystery surrounds how Jeanette Andersson, 47, ended up in the water at 100 Acres Lake in Stretham.

But an inquest into her death, held on Wednesday (Jan 8), heard that she was “severely intoxicated” when she fell in.

Ms Andersson, of Pump Lane, Stretham, was reported missing by neighbours on August 4 last year.

At around midnight, neighbours including Trixie Howard, David Wakefield and Victoria Darcy, were woken up by Ms Andersson’s dog, a Golden Retriever called Simba, barking.

He was running around in the street, unaccompanied, with his lead still attached to his collar.

Mrs Howard, who had known Ms Andersson for around nine years, said: “I and some of the other neighbours knocked on her front door to try and wake her up. There was no answer.

“We were worried about Jeanette. I had a key for her back door so I went and got it, but it was actually unlocked.

“She wasn’t there and her mobile phone and purse were on the coffee table.”

The neighbours called the police and the local dog warden, who collected Simba.

Later that day, when there was still no sign of Ms Andersson, a major search involving Cambridgeshire Police and Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (CamSAR) was launched.

Ms Andersson’s body was found that evening in the water at the side of 100 Acres Lake - a beauty spot located around five minutes from her home and a place where she regularly walked Simba. Her body was recovered the next morning.

Dr Rebecca Brais, a pathologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said Ms Andersson’s liver “showed evidence of heavy drinking”.

She said the level of alcohol in her blood at the time was 275 micrograms in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit for driving is 80 micrograms.

Dr Brais said: “This level would have meant Jeanette was severely intoxicated when she entered the water.”

Exactly how Ms Andersson, who Mrs Howard said had “battled with a drink problem for some time” and “could not swim”, remains unknown.

The inquest heard a ball was found in the water close to her body so one possibility is that she could have fallen in while trying to retrieve it for Simba.

Another is that the dog, who neighbours described as “boisterous”, could have accidentally knocked her in, or she simply could have slipped down the bank.

Coroner William Morris recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Read more from Ely News

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters