Death of woman confined to wheelchair ‘suspicious’

THE Dublin county coroner has adjourned an inquest into the death of an MS sufferer who was confined to a wheelchair, citing suspicious circumstances.

The woman initially appeared to have hung herself. Dr Kieran Geraghty yesterday requested gardaí at Dundrum Garda Station to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Neelam Chawla, who was discovered dead by her son at their home at 5 Hillview Grove, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, on January 25 last.

Raymond Chawla returned home at 8.55pm on January 25 and discovered that his mother was dead in her wheelchair, Dublin County Coroner’s Court heard.

He described how she had a ligature attached to her neck, which was attached to a coat hook above the front door.

Mr Chawla told the coroner he did not believe his mother would have been able to remove the coats from the hook or to attach the ligature to the hook because it was 5’9” from the floor and she was confined to a wheelchair.

“It wouldn’t have been possible for her to do it,” he said.

Mr Chawla said he last saw his mother alive at 8.45am that morning and a personal assistant, who worked for the Irish Wheelchair Association, was the only other person who would have been in the house.

Garda John Healy of Dundrum Garda Station told the court numerous attempts by gardaí to make contact with this woman had failed.

Dr Geraghty said he would adjourn the inquest to a date in October and requested gardaí to further investigate the case.

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