A man left the flat he shared with his partner not knowing whether she was alive or dead.
Huddersfield Coroner’s Court head that Philip ‘Baggy’ Baxter, 39, of Juniper Grove Mews, Netherton, had drunk a bottle of vodka the previous night and got into bed with his girlfriend of four years, Fiona Stead, 42. He didn’t know if she was awake or asleep.
The following morning he woke to find her cold in bed next to him, but ordered a taxi and went out. As he left, a neighbour enquired after Fiona.
He replied: “I don’t know, I think she’s dead” and went and sat in the taxi. Neighbours persuaded the driver not to take Mr Baxter.
The inquest head that when she died, Ms Stead, who claimed she was unable to eat solids, was suffering from jaundice, sepsis and end-stage alcoholic liver disease, and had methadone in her body.
At the height of her drinking, Ms Stead, who had a teenage son living with his grandfather, was consuming two or three litres of cider a day and five or six strong lagers, or three bottles of sherry.
Both she and her partner were well-known to drug and alcohol agencies.
Coroner Oliver Longstaff described the couple’s lifestyle as “utterly chaotic” and recorded a verdict of death due to dependence on drugs.