In Brief

Naked woman found dead in airing cupboard after getting trapped

Inquests hears 60-year-old holidaymaker burst a water pipe while trying to escape

A care worker died from hypothermia after getting trapped naked in an airing cupboard at a holiday home in Wales, an inquest has heard.

Elizabeth Mary Isherwood, 60, of Wolverhampton, is thought to have spent days trying to escape from the cupboard. Scratches and holes were found in the walls at the flat in the Plas Talgarth holiday complex, where she had stayed on a number of occasions, in Machynlleth, Powys.

It is believed she had gone to the bathroom during the night or in the morning at the start of a week-long holiday last September. Isherwood then, for an unknown reason, entered the airing cupboard - where the door closed behind her leaving her stuck inside the space, according to The Sun.

The lock appears to have “disintegrated in her hand”, reports Metro, so she started “using the shelving and copper piping to escape”. 

“But when she broke off the pipe, cold water started pouring into the tiny room, covering everything in water.”

Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said getting soaked while naked would have accelerated the onset of hypothermia.

“She pulled the copper piping and a piece was broken off. This was used to try initially to open the door because there were marks on the door but also used to try and break a hole through the wall of the airing cupboard. I believe she knocked some of the plaster off one wall [only] to find blocks behind,” he said.

“Unfortunately, on the other side of the wall was a picture. She had been able to break a hole completely through that wall. I think the presence of the picture meant she didn’t realise. She probably thought she couldn’t get out.”

A neighbour heard banging coming from the flat but failed to report it, Caernarfon coroners court heard. It was only when water began leaking through the ceiling of the apartment below that a maintenance worker was called, leading to the discovery of Isherwood’s body.

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