Husband finds wife dead in hot tub hours after sharing romantic night looking at stars

A woman who had been enjoying a night in her hot tub with her husband was found dead just hours later.

Mandy Pugh and her husband Lee Pugh used their hot tub at their home in Nottage, Porthcawl, up to five times per week, an inquest into her death heard.

The couple had recently moved to the area to be closer to family.

In a statement Mr Pugh said that he and his 57-year-old wife had been in the hot tub on the night of her death and were planning their activities for the next few days while looking at the stars.

He said: “Mandy was enjoying her new job but she was happy that night because she had the next day off.

“We used the pool five days a week, generally in the evening. We used to like lying there and looking at the stars. It was a nice way of relaxing at the end of the day.”

After over an hour in the hot tub together Mr Pugh told the inquest that he returned to the house to watch the evening news. He later fell asleep while watching a film.

When he woke around midnight Mr Pugh went to check on the hot tub, believing that his wife had forgotten to turn off the lights after going to bed.

He discovered his wife face-down and unconscious in the water.

Mr Pugh attempted CPR on his wife until paramedics arrived minutes later.

Despite efforts of paramedics and an attending doctor Mrs Pugh was pronounced dead at her home on September 11, 2020.

The inquest heard that Mrs Pugh had a medical history of “excessive alcohol consumption” and had been seeking help from specialists prior to the start of lockdown in March 2020.

Her family had raised concerns about this alcohol consumption and Mrs Pugh had been found unconscious by her husband once before.

Mr Pugh said: “I tried to help her a lot of the time but then she would hide it from me.

“I saw her drink only half a bottle of wine before we got into the pool. She didn’t seem drunk or sleepy at all. “

“She was just happy. With hindsight I should have checked on her sooner.”

Dr Alexander Lawson, forensic toxicologist at University Hospitals Birmingham, told the inquest that Mrs Pugh had a blood alcohol content of 291mg per 100ml of blood.

In comparison the legal driving limit is 80mg per 100ml. Dr Lawson hypothesised that Mrs Pugh had consumed the equivalent of one litre of 14% wine.

She also had low levels of an antihistamine in her blood, which is likely to have intensified the effects of the alcohol.

A post-mortem examination report by Dr Jason Shannan of Royal Glamorgan Hospital concluded that Mrs Pugh has died from submersion in hot water following a possible “loss of consciousness or disorientation” caused by consumption of alcohol.

Coroner David Regan recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

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