Woman drowned in ditch in Hailsham

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A HOLIDAYMAKER who went for a stroll fell in a ditch in Hailsham and drowned, an inquest has heard.

Maureen Bulling, of Canterbury Road, Worthing, was found in the ditch at the side of Ersham Road, Hailsham, on July 8 and an inquest into the 61-year-old’s death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday (March 15).

Coroner Alan Craze was told Mrs Bulling was visiting The Homestead, a caravan site in Hailsham, at the time of the fatal accident.

She and her husband Peter Bulling arrived at the site on July 8 and were setting up their camp when Mr Bulling noticed his wife had vanished. He told the coroner he thought she had probably gone shopping or off for a secret cigarette.

He also said his wife liked to drink vodka and the toxicology report showed she had a blood alcohol level nearly two times over the legal drink drive limit.

Mr Bulling went to Hailsham Police Station at 11pm and informed officers his wife was missing and a search started with Mrs Bulling’s body being found shortly afterwards, around 50 yards from the caravan site, at around 11.50pm.

Dr Jane Mercer carried out the post mortem and found Mrs Bulling had drowned in the muddy water and dislocated her shoulder.

Dr Mercer said, “It sounds as if she fell head first and from that position people will try to push themselves up on their arms but that would not have been possible with a dislocated shoulder.”

Police said there was no evidence to suggest she had been hit by a vehicle or assaulted and Mr Craze recorded a verdict of accidental death.