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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Woman died after drinking binge
Joanne Duggan
Joanne Duggan had previously been treated for alcohol misuse
A 20-year-old woman who had just had a job interview died after a night of heavy drinking, an inquest in Cardiff has heard.

Joanne Duggan, from Morganstown, near Cardiff, was found collapsed by her parents in February. She did not regain consciousness and died an hour later.

The inquest heard she went to a job interview before meeting her new boyfriend and drinking wine and vodka.

A verdict of death by dependency on alcohol was recorded.

The inquest heard that, on the night of her death, office clerk Miss Duggan met boyfriend Alex Newman and drank three large glasses of wine, but was also going to the toilet to drink vodka from a bottle in her bag.

Mr Newman told the inquest the couple had argued at the end of the night, but made up over the phone and had planned to see each other the following day.

Cardiff Coroner's Court was told Miss Duggan died in the night as a result of acute alcohol poisoning.

Pathologist Richard Jones said her body contained 340mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, compared to a drink-drive limit of 80mg.

'Beautiful'

Her mother Cheryl Duggan, 42, told the inquest her daughter regularly drank at least two bottles of wine when she went out.

"She was beautiful, intelligent, had a big heart. A very loving girl, but she had her problems.

Inside I want to scream. I am full of self-hatred and loathing
Note written by Joanne Duggan

"She didn't see how beautiful she was and we kept telling her - she couldn't see it."

The inquest was told that Miss Duggan became bulimic as a teenager and had previously had hospital treatment for alcohol misuse.

"We did lots and lots of things but we just went round and round in circles - we didn't get anywhere," said Mrs Duggan.

Mrs Duggan added that her daughter's binge drinking had escalated in the weeks before her death and, despite seeking help from her GP, a psychotherapist and alcohol dependency experts, she was reluctant to stop drinking because she was afraid of withdrawal symptoms.

Cardiff Coroner Mary Hassell read a note to the court which was found in Miss Duggan's room and was said to have been written in the months before her death.

It read: "Inside I want to scream. I am full of self-hatred and loathing.

"Ever since I can remember I have felt like an alien. I have always found life hard, ever since I was a young child."




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