A part-time care worker died from hypothermia after becoming trapped naked in a very confined airing cupboard, an inquest heard .
Elizabeth Mary Isherwood, 60, arrived alone for a one-week stay at the Plas Talgarth estate, near Machynlleth, when the tragic incident occurred on September 23 of last year.
Her body was later discovered by a shocked maintenance worker and may have been lying there for a number of days, the Daily Post reports.
The Welsh holiday resort was a location she knew well from her previous visits, according Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones.
What I believe happened is some time during the night or during the morning she had got up and gone to the bathroom, he said. From there she went to the airing cupboard.
The door opened inwards and it closed behind her. The cupboard was a very confined space.
Mr Pritchard Jones said the round part of the door knob seemed to have come off the internal mechanism which was still attached to the door.
Being unable to turn the lock and realising she was trapped and there was no light, at some stage she first of all pulled the shelves off. Whether she used them to try and get out, I can’t say.
What she did do was she pulled the copper piping and a piece was broken off. This was used to try initially to open the door because there were marks on the door but also used to try and break a hole through the wall of the airing cupboard.
I believe she knocked some of the plaster of one wall to find blocks behind.
Mrs Isherwood managed to make a hole in another wall. ‘Unfortunately on the other side of the wall was a picture. She had been able to break a hole completely through that wall. I think the presence of the picture meant she didn’t realise. She probably thought she couldn’t get out.
The coroner said water would have been flowing through the airing cupboard, spraying everything inside.
He said My belief is what happened, being locked in the airing cupboard, happened during the night of the 23rd-24th and more than likely during the early hours of the 24th. I don’t know how long she was in the cupboard. She was a fit lady.
A shocked maintenance worker found her body after water poured through a ceiling.
The coroner recorded a conclusion of misadventure because of the sheer bad luck that the knob disintegrated while Mrs Isherwood was in the cupboard, although I can’t say why she was there.
Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers told the coroner the cause of her death was hypothermia, accelerated by her being naked, stuck in a cupboard and sprayed by water.
He didn’t know how long she had been trying to dig herself out through the walls. She may have been dead by the Monday. It could have been more protracted, Dr Rodgers said.
Det Con Gareth Wilcox Jones said the occupier of another apartment had heard a series of thuds possibly on the Sunday night but hadn’t reported them.
Family members made no comment as they left the hearing.
News Source MirrorNews