Mystery of nurse drowned in bath

A NURSE found drowned in the bath of her Doncaster home was facing disciplinary proceedings because of her excessive drinking, an inquest heard.

Michelle Denyer was also being treated for depression because of her "low self-esteem" and high anxiety level but Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis said he could not be sure she had intended to kill herself.

He recorded an open verdict on the 49-year-old psychiatric nurse who lived alone in Greystone Close, Tickhill, after her husband separated from her.

Mrs Denyer's fully-clothed body was found in the bath on October 2 last year by a neighbour who was concerned about not seeing her for several days.

The post-mortem examination showed death from drowning and a high level of alcohol in her blood, equivalent to three or four times the legal driving limit.

Her Tickhill GP, Dr Timothy Sheehan, said he had seen Mrs Denyer regularly about her stress problems and he was aware excess alcohol consumption was also a problem.

He noted a marked deterioration in 2008 which led to palpitations and she also consulted a psychiatrist.

In the Spring of 2009 she was arrested for a drink-driving offence and was given a different job.

Mrs Denyer was suspended in September because matters were pending with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council and she thought she would lose her licence to practise as a nurse.

Dr Sheehan said she had no history of self-harm and had stated she wanted to spare her family the trauma of a suicide.

The Deputy Coroner said Mrs Denyer had very low self-esteem.

The drink-driving conviction weighed heavily on her, as well as being reported to her professional body.

"In this case there were vague expressions of not wishing to wake up but there had never been any expression of intent to kill herself. There was no note of any kind.

"There is always the possibility that she fell in or she was behaving in a bizarre fashion while under the influence of alcohol but these are questions I cannot answer," said Mr Curtis.

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