AN OPEN verdict has been recorded following the death of a parish councillor from Heybridge.

Natalie Lewis-Hoyle, 28, of Heybridge, was discovered unresponsive by her mother in her home on December 15.

Miss Lewis-Hoyle was serving as a councillor for Heybridge Parish Council.

She was the daughter of deputy commons speaker Lindsey Hoyle and former Maldon District Council leader Miriam Lewis.

The inquest into her death was held at Essex Coroner’s Court today.

Speaking at the hearing, coroner’s officer Nick Hale said: “On December 14, Natalie Lewis-Hoyle was collected by her mother at Hatfield Peverel train station at 10pm who took her home to where she lived with her family in Heybridge.

“The following day, December 15, Miss Lewis-Hoyle was found unresponsive in her bedroom by her mother at 6.46am.

“Paramedics were called to the scene but they sadly declared her deceased.

“Police officers attended and concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.”

A post mortem examination found she died as a result of hanging.

The inquest heard Miss Lewis-Hoyle had 171 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in her system which may have impaired her reasoning.

The legal limit for driving before motorists are considered too impaired to drive is 80 milligrams.

Natalie’s mother Miriam Lewis told senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray while she accepts the law cannot rule it was a cause, she believed a phone conversation between her daughter and a partner on the same night may have also affected her.

She said: “Natalie had been living with a toxic relationship for several years prior to her death.

“On November 23, there was an attack. She knew this relationship was not going anywhere, but she didn’t want it to end, but in the days before her death she had been telling us how she was coming to terms that this was not working.

“Phone conversations between her and this partner were had on the night shortly before her death.

“It is my firm belief that what was exchanged during this conversation contributed to the action she took that evening.

“Never in any of her life had she expressed a desire to take her own life.

“She was full of life, she would fill a room the moment she walked in it, she was being groomed for a new promotion at work and had just bought a new car which she loved.

“Natalie also had a niece and nephew which meant the world to her. She told me just the same week ‘when you look at these two little faces, it puts everything into perspective’.”

Father Lindsay Hoyle said: “No one can judge that phone call, but it’s my view that Natalie's action was something that was a reaction to that phone call.”

Addressing the court and Miss Lewis-Hoyle’s family, Mrs Beasley-Murray said: “We do not have all the pieces of the jigsaw. I do not have enough evidence to conclude Natalie took her own life, so I am going to record an open conclusion.

“I said at the beginning I expressed sympathy to you, and I reiterate that. Natalie was clearly well loved and I hope you can think of all the happy memories you had with her.”

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