Derbyshire wife thought her husband was asleep but he was dead

today27 August 2022

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A wife sat next to her husband for 20 minutes before realising he’d died. Shaun Bowley went to sleep in the living room of his house in South Normanton while his wife Kelly slept upstairs, along with their children.

She got up in the morning at around 7.20am as it was a school day, an inquest heard. PC Joanna Smith told the hearing that Mrs Bowley made herself a coffee and sat watching television in the living room, on the other sofa to where her husband was lying.

PC Smith said: “She was downstairs for around 20 minutes and she presumed Shaun was asleep although his eyes were open but this wasn’t unusual for him as he did sometimes sleep with his eyes open. She told him to shut his eyes but when he didn’t respond she took hold of his foot and shook it but he was still unresponsive and cold to the touch, it was then she realised that he was deceased.”

Post-mortem examinations showed that he had a number of substances in his system including heroin, cocaine and alcohol at the time of his death.

Mr Bowley, 52,had a history of drug use including heroin, although he stopped taking it about seven years ago and replaced it with methadone, and cocaine. The inquest was also told that he would often drink a three-litre bottle of cider every day, although his wife said that he wasn’t dependent on the drugs or the alcohol.

PC Smith said Mrs Bowley found her husband in the front room of their house on the morning of Tuesday, November 15, 2021. PC Smith said: “Shaun was found deceased at approximately 7.40am by his wife.

Read More:Derbyshire dad cries as he’s cleared of manslaughter of next-door neighbour

“He was situated on the sofa in the living room lying down stretched across the full length of the sofa. He lived at the address along with his wife and children.

“It was Kelly who found Shaun lying on the sofa when she came downstairs as she normally would in the morning after waking up at around 7.20am due to it being a school day for her children.”

Mrs Bowley had last seen her husband alive at around midnight the night before when he asked her for £20, she believed to buy crack cocaine from a man she heard him talking to outside a short time later. Mrs Bowley told PC Smith that she believed her husband would’ve taken the drugs straight away as that’s what he would often do.

Concluding the inquest at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court, Assistant Coroner Miss Susan Evans ruled that Mr Bowley had died on his sofa at his home address as a result of “alcohol and drugs”.

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