Alcohol the cause of Amy Winehouse death, second inquest concludes

Amy Winehouse drank herself to an accidental death in July 2011, St. Pancras coroner has confirmed.

New Statesman
Amy Winehouse. Photograph: Getty Images

A second inquest into the death of Amy Winehouse has confirmed that overconsumption of alcohol was indeed the cause.

The original verdict, of misadventure, which was released in October last year was set aside after it was found that the deputy coroner lacked the necessary experience. Suzanne Greenaway had been appointed by husband Andrew Reid, coroner for inner North London, despite not having the mandatory five years in the Law Society to adequately qualify her. The pair both resigned from their respective roles towards the end of last year.

However the second hearing, led by St. Pancras Coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe, has come to an identical conclusion today. The Rehab star was found to have 416mg of alcohol per deciletre of blood in her system at the time of death, compared to the legal driving limit which is 80mg; Dr Radcliffe commented that this was “a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality”.

The inquest heard from Winehouse’s GP, Dr. Christina Romette, who saw the singer the night before she died. She seemed “calm and somewhat guilty”, having admitted to drinking again after a period of abstinence because “she was bored”. The doctor clarified that Amy specifically said she didn’t want to die, dismissing any questions of intentional overconsumption.

Andrew Morris, bodyguard and close friend of the singer, also provided a statement for the hearing. Living in the Camden flat with Amy herself, it was he who found her on the afternoon of July 23rd 2011 alongside two empty vodka bottles. He had seen her drinking over the previous few days but noted that it was in moderation: “"I had seen her drunk enough times in the past to know when she had drank too much". When he went to check on her after hearing nothing all day, the bodyguard searched for a pulse but could not find one. Morris said he was "upset and shaken, she's like a sister to me".

Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, has since released a book documenting his daughter’s talent, success and ultimate downfall - with proceeds dedicated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.