No charges over death of Nicole Falkingham

Nicole Falkingham
Image caption Mrs Falkingham's body was found frozen in the back of a car

A couple held after the body of the wife of a businessman was found frozen to death in the back of their car will not face charges, an inquest heard.

The body of Nicole Falkingham, 41, from Allerton, Liverpool, was found in a car in January.

A post-mortem examination found she died of hypothermia and acute alcohol intoxication.

The court heard there was insufficient evidence to pursue manslaughter charges against Kevin and Catherine Keith.

Mrs Falkingham was the estranged wife of Jonathan Falkingham, the chief executive of property developer Urban Splash.

'Very sad case'

The night before Mrs Falkingham's death she had been drinking in a bar and was believed to have left with Mr and Mrs Keith, who owned the car in which she was found.

Police were then called to the address at Eastwood, in Otterspool, Liverpool, by the couple in question shortly after 10:00 BST on 25 January.

The court heard the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided not to pursue criminal charges because there were insufficient evidence to prove that Mr Keith, 48, and Mrs Keith, 49, both from Aigburth, had breached a duty of care towards Mrs Falkingham.

Mr Falkingham told the coroner he was "disappointed" with the decision.

The case was adjourned for another hearing on 19 August with a full inquest expected to be held in October.

Helen Morris, CPS prosecutor, said: "This is a very sad case but the circumstances are not such that the actions of Mr and Mrs Keith on that night could be deemed to be criminal."

She said there was not a realistic prospect of securing a conviction against the couple on a charge of manslaughter by reason of gross negligence.

Manchester-based Urban Splash is known for transforming derelict buildings and bringing them back into use, most notably the famous Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe, Lancashire, and Birmingham's Fort Dunlop.

Mr Falkingham was a co-founder of the company, where his wife had worked as a PA.

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