A FORMER mayor's wife was found dead in bed after suffering "caffeine poisoning", an inquest heard.

Delyse Critchley, 68, died in "highly unusual circumstances" at her home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on April 8 – four months after her husband died from cancer.

A post mortem report found Mrs Critchley, who served as mayoress for Bolton between 2009 and 2010, died from "caffeine toxicity".

According to experts, a caffeine overdose may occur when someone ingests more than the recommended amount.

This stands at 400 milligrams per day for healthy adults – the equivalent to about four cups of coffee.

Coroner Timothy Brennand said: "The cause of death is highly unusual in terms of the substance that clearly has been implicated being caffeine."

He added that a police investigation carried into her death out found no suspicious circumstances.


The exact circumstances will be revealed at a full inquest at a later date.

At the opening on June 16, Bolton Coroner's Court heard police forced their way into the woman's house after reports of concern for her welfare.

Police coroner's officer Stefan Wilson told the court: "She was found in her bed, she was unresponsive and she was not breathing."

Mr Wilson added medication was found at the scene.

Paramedics arrived and declared her dead and Mrs Critchley was formally identified using her driving licence picture.

Her death comes just four months after that of her husband, former mayor Alderman Norman Critchley, who died from prostate cancer on January 4.

Mr Brennand adjourned the inquest to a future date to allow time for further inquiries to be carried out.

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