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Actress Melanie Hughes died after battle with alcohol

A former Miss Wales and TV actress died after a battle with alcohol addiction, an inquest heard.

Melanie Hughes, 39, from Ewloe, Flintshire, died as a result of fatty liver disease in October last year.

Mrs Hughes, who appeared in Coronation Street and Cold Feet, had suffered with post-natal depression, her husband Richard said.

The inquest in Ruthin, Denbighshire, also heard she was in a "terrible state" after a traumatic year in 2013.

During the year, Mrs Hughes suffered a miscarriage, and was distressed over the death of her grandmother and her mother being taken ill.

Mrs Hughes won Miss Wales when she was still Melanie Jones in 1997.
She was found collapsed on the bed at her home by her husband on 8 October and taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where she died.

A post-mortem examination showed she only had a small amount of alcohol in her system at the time and that the only obvious physical condition she was suffering from was fatty liver disease.

Mr Hughes told coroner Elizabeth Dudley-Jones that his wife's problem with alcohol began after the birth of their son.

He added that episodes of drinking, which included consuming a bottle of vodka a day at times, were linked to post-natal depression.

In his statement, Richard Hughes said he felt his wife had been let down by agencies meant to help her.

She had a period of rehab but she began drinking again afterwards.

'Couldn't help her'
There were repeated patterns of heavy drinking followed by periods when Mrs Hughes managed to stay sober.

At one point Mr Hughes had asked that his wife be sectioned in order to stop her drinking but was told "it's not as simple as that".

"Melanie really was in a terrible state and there were times when even you couldn't help her," substance misuse worker Kelly Wilson told the inquest.

The coroner concluded Mrs Hughes died "as a direct result of Fatty Liver Disease which was caused as a result of her addiction to alcohol". (BBC)

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