A FORMER beauty queen died as a result of liver disease, caused by her addiction to alcohol.

An inquest held into the death of Melanie Devina Hughes, 39, of Thomas Avenue, Ewloe, but originally of Holywell, found that her sudden death was caused by fatty liver disease.

Mrs Hughes, who won the Miss Wales title in 1997, was found unresponsive by her husband Rick Hughes on October 8, when he returned home from picking their young son up.

The inquest, carried out in Ruthin by Elizabeth Dudley-Jones, assistant coroner for North East Wales and Central, heard that Mr Hughes attempted CPR and Mrs Hughes was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

A statement from Mr Hughes was read out at the inquest and described how Mrs Hughes struggled with depression and often "drank to excess", drinking a bottle of Vodka a day.

He described numerous attempts to seek help for Mrs Hughes and felt frustrated and "let down" by counsellors adding that he felt there "does not seem to be enough help for someone who cannot stop drinking".

A detailed statement was read out from Kelly Samantha Wilson, a substance misuse social worker for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, based in Rowleys Drive, Shotton.

She described the difficulties of engaging with and setting up a care plan for Mrs Hughes over a number of months, as she missed or cancelled appointments.

Mrs Hughes told her that she had suffered a traumatic year in 2013 and that "alcohol has ruined everything for me."

A post-mortem found that Mrs Hughes weighed only eight stone at the time of her death and her liver was enlarged and fatty.

The cause of death was given as fatty liver disease due to the effects of alcohol consumption.

Ms Dudley-Jones reached a short narrative conclusion that Mrs Hughes's death was as "a direct result of fatty liver disease, caused as a result of addiction to alcohol".

Paying tribute at the time of her death Mr Hughes said he was “absolutely devastated”.

“I’d first seen her when I was playing football in Greenfield and she caught my eye.

"She was stunning.

“I still have her number saved on my phone under ‘Miss Wales’.

“We got married in Mauritius in June 2011, where her mum and family are from."

He added: “Mel worked at Kingspan for 15 years and everyone there is devastated too.

“Mel was so popular. I’ve been overwhelmed with tributes on social media.”

As well as modelling, Mr Hughes said his wife also featured in small parts in TV series like Coronation Street and Cold Feet, and trained in martial arts with former world kickboxing champion Russ Williams.