Pharmacist found dead by police in Horsham died accidentally

Karen Vowels lived in Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham. Picture: Google Streetview
Karen Vowels lived in Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham. Picture: Google Streetview

A pharmacist found dead when police forced their way into her Horsham flat died accidentally, an inquest has concluded.

Karen Vowels was 62 when officers were called to her address in Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham in January last year.

An inquest into her death took place at Centenary House in Crawley this morning.

Coroner’s officer Amy Lelliott told the court: “Karen was drinking heavily and had suffered a number of falls over the years.

“She would often blame her cat for tripping her up.

“Her ex-husband Christopher Vowels would see her most days.”

On Saturday, January 27, 2018, he stopped by her flat to check in on her on his way to football.

“Karen was clearly drunk and unsteady on her feet.”

The coroner’s officer continued: “On Monday, January 29 Sussex Police were called to a report of an unresponsive female in a house by a window cleaner.

“Entry was forced and they found a deceased female lying on her face in the living room.

“Upon examining the body it was noticed that she had a head injury to the back of her head.”

Ms Vowels had sustained a 4cm laceration to the back of the head.

The door had been secured from the inside and officers did not note anything suspicious, the inquest heard.

A post-mortem examination concluded that she died from hypothermia (1A) with hepatic abscess, head injury and ethanol abuse also factors (2).

Assistant coroner Joanne Andrews returned a conclusion of accidental death following a fall.

She passed her condolences on to Christopher Vowels, who attended the inquest.