Hartlepool mum died after fall while heading to hot tub during Wynyard Hall hen party

Wynyard Hall Hotel
Wynyard Hall Hotel

A Hartlepool mum died after she fell and hit her head during a hen party at Wynyard Hall Hotel.

Julie Hall, 52, of Forester Close, Seaton Carew, died in Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital in May, two days after she was discovered with a head injury outside a cottage in the grounds of the hotel.

An inquest at Middlesbrough Town Hall today heard she had gone outside to use a hot tub but had apparently fallen before getting in - her swimming costume was dry and there was no water on the ground.

The inquest was told Mrs Hall had been taking Fluoxetine, an anti-depressant. She had also developed Complex Pain Syndrome after injuring her wrist and toe and was taking painkillers.

Friend Stacy Clark told the hearing Mrs Hall had been through a very bad time with personal problems recently.

"There have been a few occasions where she has rung me, really upset, saying she did not want to be here any more."

But she had been in a better mood on the day she died: "Julie was excited and looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, which was good to hear as she had been really low."

The hearing was told Mrs Hall had been drinking wine and a post-mortem blood test revealed she was three times over the drink/drive limit. The level of Fluoxtine in her system was ten times higher than would be expected from therapeutic use, though there was no indication she had taken any recently.

Coroner Claire Bailey told the hearing a chemist had confirmed a combination of the Fluoxetine and painkillers would have exacerbated the effects of the alcohol.

"It is possible she fell as the combination of drugs and alcohol affected her co-ordination," she said.

A statement from Stockton Council's principal environmental health officer Rob Llewellyn said the hot tub site had been inspected after Mrs Hall's fall: "The area was well-maintained, it was well lit and presented no obvious hazards that would have caused a person to fall," it said.

The hotel had measures in place relating to slips and falls.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, the corner said she did not believe Mrs Hall had intended to harm herself.

"On the evidence before me, I don't think she committed suicide while she was at the hen party," she said.

"I am of the opinion that she did intend to consume the alcohol and medication that were in her system - but I do not believe for one minute that it was with the intention of harming herself or ending her life.

"I am satisfied that while she did intend to consume the alcohol and medication, she did not intend the subsequent consequences."