AN ISOLTAED pensioner who had just got over a 20-year alcohol addiction was found in an 'advanced state of decomposition' at her home in Woodley, an inquest ruled.
Angela Wigmore, who died in January, lived alone at her home in Howth Drive and in her later years suffered from alcohol dependency and depression.
The 65-year-old, originally from Zimbabwe, had suffered from drinking problems for more than 20 years, but told her family she had finally managed to get over problem in a letter dated October 22 last year.
"I am recovering," she explained. "I have ditched the vodka. I find it hard to believe I ever drank the stuff for the past 20 years.
"How my body has coped until now I have no idea. My eyes have been red for so long and the whites have finally returned. I want to change."
She moved to the UK in 2003, but struggled financially and so her cousin Rosemary decided to join her to help out with growing money problems.
Ms Wigmore became increasingly isolated after falling out with her cousin and her family made a number of unsuccessful attempts to contact her, before an officer from Loddon Valley police station visited her Woodley home on January 14.
PC Julie Susel tried to look through the bedroom window of the house, but it was obstructed by a large piece of furniture.
The door was open and, as she entered the house, she noticed rotting food in the kitchen, before finding the body of Ms Wigmore in the bedroom.
A post mortem found significant signs of lung disease, leading Peter Bedford, senior coroner for Berkshire, to conclude death by natural causes due to her extensive battle with alcohol.
He added: "I am sorry to say I cannot give you a definitive answer. By her own admission, Angela told us in her letter that she suffered significantly with a chronic alcohol problem.
"It is therefore reasonable for me to conclude, on the balance of probability, that she died of natural causes some time before she was found, given the advanced state of decomposition she was found in."