A MOTHER-of-four from Flintshire died following years of chronic alcohol consumption, an inquest heard.

Katrina McVeigh, of Westminster Crescent, Shotton, was described by North East Wales coroner John Hughes as a long-term victim of domestic violence, but injuries found on the 45-year-old during a post-mortem examination would not have contributed to her death, he said.

Miss McVeigh, who was in the process of being divorced from her husband and had reverted to her maiden name, was admitted to the Countess of Chester hospital on July 7 last year suffering from abdominal pains.

Doctors found her to be severely dehydrated but could not discover the cause of her pain.

An exploratory operation had been scheduled for the following day, but Miss McVeigh’s condition deteriorated and she died some 20 hours after being admitted to hospital.

An autopsy by pathologist Brian Rodgers found she had an enlarged, pale liver.

He had been told beforehand that Miss McVeigh was a “somewhat vulnerable” woman who had been assaulted by different partners and boyfriends over a number of years.

She had visited her GP on May 29 last year after suffering bruises to her face, arm and rear.

Dr Rodgers found minor bruises to the upper limbs, but these were not judged to be defensive injuries. No evidence of blunt trauma to the head was found.

Miss McVeigh had given up work a number of years earlier to look after one of her children, who had Down’s Syndrome.

Before her death she told her GP she consumed on average 42 units of alcohol a week, the recommended limit for a woman being 14.

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Mr Hughes said: “The root cause of all this was chronic consumption of alcohol over time.”