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Maidstone woman found dead in her flat nearly two weeks after she was last seen, inquest hears

A woman who was found dead in her flat nearly a fortnight after she was last seen has been described as a “clever, funny and witty” person.

Police went to Lucy McDermott's home in Maidstone on August 16 after her sister rang the force concerned she hadn’t heard from her since the end of July.

Lucy McDermott was found dead at her home in Dickens Road, Maidstone, in August last year
Lucy McDermott was found dead at her home in Dickens Road, Maidstone, in August last year

An inquest at the Archbishop’s Palace heard how officers found Ms McDermott's body after climbing through a window at her address in Dickens Road, Maidstone.

Lucy, who was born in Galway, Ireland, wasn’t able to be properly identified at the time.

Coroner James Dillon heard evidence about how on August 3, the last day Lucy was seen, she had visited her GP at Albion Place Medical Practice.

Evidence from Dr Gui Santos heard how the 56-year-old was “pale and clammy” and an ambulance was called on 999 after concerns she had suffered a heart attack.

However, when paramedics arrived Lucy, who used to work at Kent County Council, refused to go and became "anxious and distressed" when health workers tried to persuade her.

"Lucy was a clever, funny and witty person who was loved by everyone."

Doctors and paramedics agreed she was of sound mind to make her own decisions but advised her to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

However, she wasn’t seen again until her body was found.

Further evidence read out by the coroner explained how Lucy had suffered from alcoholism for large periods of her life, coupled with mental health issues such as depression which saw her sectioned multiple times.

The court heard how the Maidstone woman had a fatal level of codeine in her system. Her cause of death was given as codeine toxicity and alcoholic ketoacidosis.

The inquest was attended virtually by Lucy’s sisters Una, Alice and Mary, who raised some concerns about whether their sister was in the right capacity to refuse to go to hospital.

In response, Dr Santos said she had been able to listen, take in and repeat advice given to her which showed a good enough level of capacity to make her own decisions.

Sister Una, in a statement, described Lucy as a “clever, funny and witty person who was loved by everyone”.

Lucy is pre-deceased by her parents Peggie and Paddy.

Due to time limitations, coroner James Dillon adjourned the hearing to be summed up and concluded on a different date.

The inquest continues.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

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