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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Inquest halted after woman found to have mystery broken ribs

An inquest into the death of a 32-year-old woman was halted to let her family question a pathologist after she was found to have mystery broken ribs and internal bruising.

Thirty-two-year-old Emma Lucy Hodgson died at home in Warwick Bridge, near Carlisle, after complaining she didn’t feel well.

A post mortem after her death ruled that she died from internal bleeding as a result of a lacerated spleen but her family believe she may have been assaulted in the days before her death.

They said she didn’t know she had broken ribs and sister Lynda Dixon said she didn’t believe that Emma had glandular fever – as the post mortem report said – because she had seen her very ill with it previously and saw no signs of it when she died.

After Emma’s death last December, it was also discovered that she had internal and external bruising, and two broken ribs that were not caused by attempts to revive her.

An inquest into her death has now been adjourned to allow family members to talk to the pathologist.

Coroner David Roberts said Mrs Hodgson had been out shopping with her sister, Lynda Dixon, almost exactly a year ago – on December 17 – and she was in ‘high spirits’.

Later in the evening, she went for a lie down, complaining of feeling unwell.

When Mrs Dixon went into the room shortly afterwards, she found her lying unresponsive on the floor.

She, her husband and her son all attempted to resuscitate Miss Hodgson but to no avail.

Her family believe the post mortem does not fully explain the cause of her death but Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir ruled out a police investigation.

She said it was not necessary due to the post mortem report.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mrs Dixon said: “I don’t think she knew herself that she had broken ribs.

“I find it very difficult to believe that she had glandular fever because I had been there when she had it before and I know how ill she was.”

Mrs Dixon suggested the bruising indicated that her sister had been assaulted.

Coroner David Roberts agreed to adjourn the inquest to allow the family to ask questions of the pathologist.

The rescheduled inquest is due to be held no earlier than March 1, 2014.

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