By Tara Rippin • 15 October 2020 • 11:07
Woman froze to death in cemetery after falling off her bike and spending 17 hours in freezing temperatures.
Jacqueline Parsons, 56, from Hull, failed to arrive home on October 27, 2018, and two police officers were despatched to search for her after she was found by a dog walker who raised the alarm.
She was found in Western Cemetery off Chanterlands Avenue at 9.30am, by a dog walker.
An inquest held at Hull Coroner’s Court found that Miss Parsons had died as a result of hypothermia due to her temperature dropping below 35C on one of the coldest nights of the year, reports Hull Live.
This combined with the alcohol in her system – which was at 93mg per 100ml of blood – only just over the legal drink driving limit of 80mg per 100ml, and the injury to her ankle, were deemed as the cause of death by Dr Kirsten Hope.
The pathologist also claimed if the deceased had been found after the alarm was raised, there could have been a chance of raising her temperature and saving her life.
Miss Parson’s fiance, Malcolm Cuthbert, told the inquest she had hone for a bike ride at around 9am in the morning, and he had become worried when she hadn’t returned by around 4.30pm.
He said he became more agitated as the evening went on, and assumed she may have gone for a drink.
He then decided to get in his car and look for Miss Parsons, adding that “It was raining heavily and I was worried. I expected her to return the next day and left the door open [as she had no key] and slept on the sofa”.
“On Sunday morning I expected her to return and was tired of waiting, but then saw on Hull Live that a female in her 50s had been found in the cemetery and had a gut feeling it was her.
“I phoned the police and they arrived later to tell me she was dead and I just broke down.”
It was heard the dog walker found Miss Parson, injured and went to try to get help. He called the police from his home 15 minutes after finding her as he didn’t have his monbile, and stressed the urgency as the cemetery would be closing.
According to Hull Live, Mr Cuthbert then testified in court that he had carried out lengthy research since Miss Parsons’ death and believed the police were to blame for not finding her sooner.
He said that had a full search taken place by police, she would have been found.
Mr Cuthbert added that he didn’t call the police himself because she had gone out before, but said that in hindsight “he could have done more”.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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