Woman who drowned in Bedford river was '˜excessively' drunk

A mother-of-three was 'excessively' drunk when she drowned in a river, a coroner ruled.

Leanne Gordon, 30, had 275mg of alcohol in her blood, indicating “extreme drunkenness”, when she drowned in the River Great Ouse in Bedford on July 21.

This was more than three times the legal drink-drive limit of 80mg, the court heard.

Miss Gordon, of Bedford also had cannabis in her system, but it is unclear when she took this, senior coroner for Bedfordshire Tom Osborne said.

Recording a death of misadventure yesterday at Ampthill coroners’ court, he said: “It is quite clear that she died in the river.

“She had an excessive amount of alcohol in her blood stream that would have hampered her attempts to get out of the water had she got into difficulties.

“Leanne has died as a result of misadventure. For whatever reason she had been drinking that afternoon, it had all gone horribly wrong. This is a tragedy.”

Mr Osborne said there had been two conflicting reports as to how Miss Gordon entered the water and we would never know which one was true.

One claimed that she went into the water to rescue two children in difficulty, the other said that she was in the water with a nine-year-old boy and went under.

The boy later told a counsellor, who in turn informed the police, of what he saw.

In a statement read out to the court the boy said: “She had told them (two other children) to stay in the shallow end and she was in the deep end.

“She held her arms out, the next thing I saw was her hair on top of the water.”

The court heard that Miss Gordon, a personal trainer, had made her way down the river bank with friends and three children on the afternoon of Thursday, July 21.

The court heard that after she went under the alarm was raised by a passerby who heard the children screaming.

The emergency services attended and despite an extensive search of the river they were unable to locate her body.

The search was called off by 10pm that night and resumed the next day with the help of police underwater search teams.

PC Steve Livingstone from Bedfordshire Police said the team resumed the search at the Star Rowing Club in Bedford, a short distance from where she went missing, at 8.30am the next morning.

He said: “At approximately 10am on the same day the underwater search team were taken to search the stretch of river where Leanne went missing.

“At 10.20am a female body was recovered.”

She was prouncounced dead at 10.35am and later formally identified as Miss Gordon.

The court heard that Miss Gordon had been diagnosed with asthma in 2014 and began taking anti-depressant sertraline in 2014 for anxiety and panic attacks.

She came off the drug but began another dose of 50mg a day in September 2015.

She was on this dose at the time of her death, the court heard.

The inquest was attended by three of her friends.

Speaking afterwards Lacey Gale, 26, who has known her for 23 years, said: “She was always doing family things.

“She was outgoing, exciting, she was just the best. She was a perfect mother, I can’t fault her.”

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