A coroner described the death of a Westbury woman as a tragic accident after hearing how she was poisoned by carbon monoxide which leaked from a woodburning stove.

Virgin Mobile employee Lucy Connor, 54, died in her bed on October 16 last year following exposure to the toxic gas as she slept.

Deputy coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon Peter Hatvany recorded a verdict of accidental death after hearing how two carbon monoxide detectors in her home had exceeded their shelf lives and the one in her bedroom was without batteries.

Family and work colleagues became alarmed when they could not get hold of Mrs Connor and she had not shown up to her job at Virgin Mobile’s headquarters on the White Horse Business Park in Trowbridge. Her son-in-law Robert Morris, had gone round to her home in Westbury Leigh and was joined by Mrs Connor’s daughter Natalie.

The pair then entered the property and discovered Mrs Connor’s body.

Mr Morris told the inquest, held in Trowbridge Town Hall on Wednesday, what he saw.

“I had banged on the door. But when Natalie arrived we entered the property and I went left for the upstairs,” he said.

“I went to the top of the stairs and by the bedroom, that was my first port of call, and that’s where I found Lucy. I knew straight away (she had died).”

The court heard how Mrs Connor had fitted the stove around 10 years ago with a friend after researching how to do it correctly, and had carbon monoxide detectors in her living room and bedroom.

However the flue that gas and smoke would have travelled up was found to have dampness and no lining, meaning its diameter would have been too wide to keep gas moving consistently upwards.

Giving evidence, PC Steven Lax from Trowbridge Police, said there were no batteries in the carbon monoxide detector in the bedroom and although the one downstairs had sounded when he pressed the test button, both were due to be replaced as they had gone past their shelf life.

Mr Hatvany said that following toxicology tests carried out during the post-mortem examination, Mrs Connor’s blood and urine was found to contain 60 per cent carbon monoxide.

He said fatal levels were usually between 50 per cent and 60 per cent and that she had died as a result of the gas.

He said: “This is a tragic accident. It seems she would have been asleep and wouldn’t have known what was going on.”