Mother-of-three killed herself after she was arrested for being drunk

Mother-of-three, 44, took fatal overdose after she was arrested for being drunk-in-charge of her young son at cinema, inquest hears

  • Emma Taylor, of Twyford, Berkshire, was arrested and taken home from cinema  
  • She then took toxic cocktail of vodka and medication after saying she was sorry  
  • Husband of 10 years told inquest that alcohol changed his wife’s personality
  • Coroner says it is not clear that Mrs Taylor had intended to end her life 

Justin Taylor (pictured with his late wife, Emma) said that alcohol changed his partner’s personality 

A mother-of-three took a fatal overdose after she was arrested for being drunk-in-charge of her young son at a cinema, an inquest heard today.

Emma Taylor had been secretly drinking alcohol and hiding it from her husband, Justin, in mixer bottles, the coroner was told.

The 44-year-old became drunk while out at the cinema on April 12, when she was arrested and had to be taken home, where she later knelt down at her husband’s side and said: ‘I need you to know I am sorry.’

When Justin Taylor returned to their home the next day, after taking the three children out because their mother was drunk, he found his wife unresponsive on the floor and called for an ambulance.

Mrs Taylor, of Twyford, Berkshire, went into cardiac arrest and was later declared dead at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Husband of 10 years Justin Taylor told the coroner: ‘Soon after we were married, I noticed her personality could quickly change when she had been drinking. Occasionally, if we had been to a wedding or something, she could become a complete psycho.

‘Three years ago Emma’s relationship with alcohol deteriorated. She started drinking secretly, she could become a horror, in public she could be a liability. Any amount of alcohol seemed to start her off. Last summer, she lost her job and her driving licence.

‘It is difficult to reconcile the Emma that we knew and loved, the Emma who put everyone else’s needs before her own, who could never break a rule, could never arrive at a friend’s house without flowers, it is difficult to recognise that in the Emma who was arrested for being drunk with a minor, who died alone on our floor.’

Ian Wade QC, assistant coroner for Berkshire, read evidence revealing Mrs Taylor had been sent home from her job for being drunk and had lost her licence after drink-driving in Winnersh on July 7 last year.

At a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on July 26 last year, she had admitted driving with 58 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, above the limit of 35mcg. She was fined £200, ordered to pay £85 costs and £30 to victim services.

Mrs Taylor had worked at Burberry as a PA for five years and helped to set up their online platform. 

An inquest at Reading Magistrates’ Court (pictured) heard that it was not clear whether or not Mrs Taylor had intended to end her life 

But more recently she had taken a job at a local pottery store as her condition worsened, as a way to get herself out of the house.

Mr Taylor said: ‘Emma had reached out to a number of employment agencies. She had applied for a number of jobs and was looking forward to getting her driving licence back. She was constantly on the phone to the DVLA trying to confirm a date.’

A toxicology report showed that on the day she died, Mrs Taylor had taken a toxic cocktail of vodka and anti-depressants.

Mr Wade, concluding the inquest, said: ‘I am satisfied that the cause of her death was the combination of the toxic effects.

‘This is the real culmination of a desperate story: things had become really quite severe from about 2016 onwards when she had turned to drink as her way of dealing with whatever demons troubled her. These were probably things that had played on her mind for some time.

‘Her difficulties were, in many ways for her and in conjunction with her doctors and therapists and family, something to grapple with and she found that a challenge and she is not the only one.’

The coroner, in narrative verdict, said he was not convinced the decision for Mrs Taylor taking pills was sufficient evidence for suicide, saying instead that it was not clear why she had taken the fatal dose.

He added: ‘I can well imagine that she had become so unhappy that she was desperately trying to find something to make her better, something to make her feel better about herself. I can imagine there was a kind of incoherence, a lack of thought about what she was doing.’ 

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