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Saturday, October 29, 2011

3-day vodka binge killed frail Amy Winehouse

The troubled Back to Black singer, 27, had been "dry" for almost three weeks, her inquest was told.
But three days before her July death she began drinking again ? and her frail body simply could not cope. Three empty vodka bottles were found near her corpse in Camden, North London.
Tragic Amy consumed "a very large quantity of alcohol" before she died, the inquest was told.
Pathologist Prof Suhail Baithun detailed the amount of booze in the singer's system at the hearing.
He explained that the legal limit for driving was 80mg of alcohol per decilitre of blood.
A level of up to 200mg would see a person lose control of reflexes, injuring themselves, he said.
"At 350mg this is associated with fatalities," the professor said, adding: "She was 416mg ? five times the drink-drive limit."
Amy was found slumped on her bed by her bodyguard on Saturday, July 23, this year. The inquest heard she had been "dry" for almost three weeks ? and had touched no drugs since 2008.
Yet three days before her death she began drinking again, North London's St Pancras Coroner's Court was told.
Assistant Deputy Coroner Suzanne Greenaway ruled Amy's death was misadventure and said she had knocked back "potentially fatal" levels of booze in the run-up to the tragedy.
Three empty vodka bottles ? two large and one small ? were found near the star's body at her Camden home.
Friends and officials gave evidence at the hearing and told of troubled Amy's last moments. As ex-cabbie dad Mitch and mum Janis looked on, bodyguard Andrew Morris revealed how he last spoke to her at 2am on the day she died.
Mr Morris, who lived at Amy's house, said he then checked her at 10am and, seeing her lying on the bed, assumed she was asleep.
But he became worried when he checked her again at 3pm and noticed she hadn't moved.
Mr Morris said: "I went and checked to see she was OK. I realised she wasn't breathing and there was no pulse and I called the emergency services."
Dr Cristina Romete, the star's GP for four years, confirmed Amy had frequently binged on alcohol in between "periods of abstinence".
She last saw Amy at 7pm the night before she died. Dr Romete said: "She was calm, she was coherent. She was tipsy I would say, but she didn't slur and was able to hold a full conversation."
Asked if Amy had vowed to stop boozing, the GP replied: "She did not, no ? but she was going to call me that weekend. "Apart from the fact she'd started drinking there was no other concern. I was not concerned that she was suicidal.
"She talked about future things. She said, 'I have not achieved a lot of the things I wanted'. She was looking forward to the future."
MISADVENTURE verdict recorded at inquest into Amy Winehouse’s death
The doctor said Amy was opposed to psychological therapy, but called her "one of the most intelligent women I've ever met".
Coroner Greenaway concluded: "She had been specifically advised of the harm to her health and her life. However, she had her own views about therapy ? particularly of the treatment she would accept.
"She had consumed sufficient alcohol at 416mg per decilitre and the unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death."
Amy's divorced parents both brought their new partners to the coroner's court to hear the verdict.
Mitch, 60, was accompanied by second wife Jane, 47, and 56-year-old Janis by her partner Richard. A spokesman for the Winehouse family said after the hearing: "It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away, it is likely a build-up of alcohol in her system over a number of days.
"The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time.
"It underlines how important our work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation is to us, to help as many young people and children as we can in her name.
"It means a lot to us and from the overwhelming messages of support we have had since Amy died, we know she meant a great deal to people all over the world."
Janis and Amy's film director boyfriend Reg Traviss, 35, saw the star the day before she died ? and were sure she had not been drinking, it has emerged.
Yet Amy had fallen off the wagon days earlier, sinking gin and Red Bulls at the iTunes festival at Camden's Roundhouse venue.
The shambling singer appeared on stage there alongside goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.
She tottered next to the youngster for several minutes, but refused to sing a note when offered the microphone.
An onlooker claimed Amy had drunk "gallons" of booze, saying she "drank the bar dry". The witness said: "Amy was behaving really erratically but that was nothing out of the ordinary for her." Critics described the singer as looking like a "wraith". One declared: "She shouldn't be anywhere near a stage right now." But just days later the star was dead.
The Sun revealed then that NO drugs were involved in Amy's death. And we told how her family was convinced alcohol was behind it.
Outside the Roundhouse, Amy pulled 16-year-old fan Hannah Hardman up close to her in what was believed to be the last snap taken of the tragic singer.

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