Kent

Egypt holiday death: Food poisoning theory 'speculative'

Alison Sonnex with her husband Clive Eversfield Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Alison Sonnex was texting her neighbour about feeding her cats, but died hours later

A man's claim that his wife died on holiday in Egypt as a result of food poisoning is "entirely speculative", a coroner has concluded.

Alison Sonnex, from Kent, was at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Marsa Alam with her husband Clive Eversfield in April 2018, an inquest heard.

She became violently ill on their last night and died in hospital hours later.

Delivering a narrative verdict, coroner James Dillon apologised to her family for not providing "more answers".

A UK pathologist concluded Ms Sonnex, 54, had gastroenteritis and Mr Eversfield blamed her illness on food from the hotel.

Mr Dillon said he could not be certain food poisoning responsible for Ms Sonnex's death.

"I'm very sorry I can't give you more answers than that. The evidence doesn't allow me to do so."

While both Mrs Sonnex and Mr Eversfield, from Ramsgate, fell ill at the same time, her symptoms presented as more acute.

An undiagnosed, unknown medical condition may have also contributed to her death, the court heard.

'No clearer'

Dr Kareem Aboualfa, a pathologist from the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, performed the autopsy and concluded Ms Sonnex's cause of death was "most likely to be gastroenteritis".

After the inquest Mr Eversfield said: "It's not really what I wanted. I really wanted to have an open verdict.

"At the end of the day something made us both ill and that was the cause of why Alison died. Had we not been ill she wouldn't have died and she'd be here today.

"It's frustrating that it's taken so long to get here. It's now 15 months after she died and we're really not any clearer than we were 15 months ago... and now I've had to go through it yet again."

The court heard they had been on a Thomas Cook holiday. The hotel said 700 other guests ate similar meals without any symptoms.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said it: "Provided immediate support to the family at the time. Our head of customer welfare stayed in touch with Mr Eversfield and continued to offer support in the months following.

"No other cases of sickness were reported at the hotel when Mrs Sonnex died and it is still not apparent how Mrs Sonnex became ill.

"Our deepest sympathy remains with Mr Eversfield, family and friends."

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