Young mum drowned on night out

TRAGIC: Flowers left by the water-filled quarry where young mum Julie Shaw died
TRAGIC: Flowers left by the water-filled quarry where young mum Julie Shaw died
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A young mum drowned just yards from her home after a night out with friends, an inquest has heard.

Mum-of-three Julie Ann Shaw fell into the water-filled quarry close to her home at Green Bank Park, off Higher Road in Longridge, after being dropped off in a taxi following a night out at a friend’s house.

Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death at yesterday’s inquest.

He described the circumstances as “very, very tragic” particularly so for the family and young children she left behind.

Mr Singleton said 34-year-old Mrs Shaw had been described by the taxi driver who dropped her off during the early hours of the morning as “very drunk”.

The coroner noted that she had 279 mg per litre of alcohol in her blood. The legal limit for driving is 80.

Detective Superintendent Paul Withers told the inquest that Mrs Shaw’s handbag and phone had been found nearby and when asked to describe the area, the officer said there was a wooden 3-4ft fence surrounding the quarry pond, where the banking down to the water was very steep.

He added that the quarry was only yards from Mrs Shaw’s chalet style home.

He said: “I formed the opinion very, very quickly that if someone had gone into the quarry it would have been very, very difficult to get out.”

He added that the fencing had been fractured, and that it looked “relatively fresh damage”.

The inquest also heard the weather was poor on the night in February this year when Mrs Shaw died.

Mr Singleton said if Mrs Shaw, who had been drinking, had also suffered from hypothermia, then this could have led to her becoming disorientated and confused.

“Everything suggested she could have tumbled,” he said.