Alcohol confirmed as Winehouse death cause

A second inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse has confirmed that she died from alcohol poisoning after a drinking binge.

The same verdict of misadventure was recorded at a re-hearing of the inquest — the first was heard by a coroner who did not have the correct qualifications.

The hearing yesterday was told that the Back To Black star was more than five times the legal drink- drive limit when she died, having 416mg of alcohol per decilitre of blood in her system. The legal driving limit in the UK is 80mg — the Irish is 50mg.

The inquest at St Pancras coroner’s court in London came after an investigation found Suzanne Greenaway, who oversaw the first inquest, did not have the correct qualifications.

St Pancras coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe did not refer to the fact yesterday’s hearing was the second inquest into the death.

The singer’s parents, Mitch and Janis, were not present. A spokesman for the family said previously that the Winehouses were “happy with the way the original inquest was conducted and did not request it to be reheard”.

He added: “This seems to be a matter of procedure and the verdict is not expected to change.”

Dr Radcliffe said the star died from “alcohol toxicity”, adding it was “a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality”.

She said Winehouse had “voluntarily consumed alcohol” and added that “two empty vodka bottles were on the floor” beside her bed when her body was discovered.

Winehouse, who won five Grammy awards in 2008, was described by Dr Radcliffe as an independent woman. “She clearly had a mind of her own,” she said. “But her alcohol ingestion became a significant health problem.”

She said the singer was “repeatedly warned” about the dangers of alcohol.

In a written statement, the star’s GP, Dr Christina Romete, said Winehouse “was genuinely unwilling to follow the advice of doctors, being someone who wanted to do things her own way”.

Dr Romete had seen Winehouse the night before she died.

Although the singer had been drinking, the GP said: “She specifically said she did not want to die.”

The doctor’s statement also revealed Winehouse’s struggle with an eating disorder.

“I visited Amy at home on May 16 and for the first time she admitted she made herself sick following food binges,” said Dr Romete.

Ms Greenaway recorded a verdict of misadventure at the original hearing in Oct 2011. She was appointed to the role in Jul 2009 by her husband, Andrew Reid, the coroner for Inner North London, after she had worked as a solicitor and barrister in Australia.

However, she stepped down in November when it emerged that she did not have the requisite five years’ experience in the Law Society. Dr Reid resigned last month after the UK office for judicial complaints launched disciplinary proceedings against him.

Investigators found he had not “thoroughly” checked that his wife had the requisite qualifications for the role.

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