Darlington mother found dead in bath hours after night out with friends (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Darlington mother found dead in bath hours after night out with friends
THE family of a young mother who was found dead the day after a night out with friends have been told that the circumstances of her death may never be clear.
Tracy Ann Weightman, 31, was found in the bath at her home in Beaconsfield Street, Darlington, on April 21 after a concerned neighbour realised that the shower had been running at the property all day.
The mother-of-one had been out with friends the night before her death.
They described her as acting strangely despite only drinking a small amount.
An inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court heard Ms Weightman may have been in the bath with both the shower and the hot tap running for about 12 hours when she was found at 10pm.
A post mortem examination could not determine a cause of death because her body had quickly started to decompose in the hot water.
A toxicology report found a moderate amount of alcohol in her blood and a small amount of amphetamine.
Pathologist Chandrakant Patel said her lungs were too decomposed to be able to tell whether Ms Weightman had drowned but that it was a possibility.
DS Jim Cunningham, of Darlington CID, who led the investigation, said it was possible that Ms Weightman had fallen in the bath, knocking herself out before drowning, although she had no obvious injuries.
He said: “Her family were concerned at the presence of amphetamine– our investigation showed that Tracy liked a drink but there was no indication that she took recreational drugs.”
The inquest heard from two of Ms Weightman’s acquaintances, Andrew Heyburn and Amanda Beenham, who said they had no idea that she had taken amphetamine the previous night.
Both witnesses said Ms Weightman had appeared normal when she arrived at the pub, but her behaviour became strange a short time later.
Mr Heyburn said: “It was the first night out we’d been on together so I didn’t know what she was like when she was drunk.
“I asked her if she had taken something and she looked at me blankly like I wasn’t there. I actually thought that someone had spiked her drink.”
Recording a verdict of death related to drugs and alcohol, coroner Dr Leslie Hamilton said: “There’s some strength in the suggestion that maybe she fell and hit her head.
“Clearly the amphetamine had some affect – from what we have heard her behaviour was not normal.
“The verdict does not give the whole explanation – it does not tell us how the amphetamine got in her body.”
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