Tara Newbold death: Family welcome inquest for beaten mother

Tara Newbold and Duane Ballin Image copyright Family photo / Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Tara Newbold first became pregnant when she was 15 and later had two further children with Duane Ballin

The family of a woman who died after being beaten by her partner hope an inquest will show she was not responsible for her own death.

Duane Ballin told police in Nottingham "I think I've killed my girlfriend" but was not charged with Tara Newbold's murder because her "most likely" cause of death was cocaine toxicity.

Ms Newbold's family maintain she would not have taken cocaine willingly.

They hope an inquest will show that Ballin forced her to take the drug.

The inquest is due to be held in Nottingham, where Ms Newbold lived, after her mother and stepfather pushed for one.

"If we don't pursue this it gives every domestic abuser licence to get rid of their partner using class A drugs," said Julie and Peter Dury.

"We do not believe it is in the interest of Tara's children for the public to believe she was a drug user.

"The question of her being a drug user was brought before the family courts but with these proceedings being in private the evidence and findings cannot be made public."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Julie Dury, shown here with Tara Newbold and her other daughter, has pushed for an inquest to be held

Ballin, 35, beat his partner so badly that her own mother struggled to identify her body and he was jailed for 15 years in March for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He told his trial he used a rolling pin to beat her at the home they shared in Alford Court, West Bridgford, in the early hours of 25 October 2016.

The couple's three children were at home and heard the attack. Part of it was also witnessed by their three-year-old daughter.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Duane Ballin assaulted Tara Newbold at the home they shared in Alford Court, West Bridgford

Nottinghamshire Police originally began a murder inquiry but a post-mortem examination found Ms Newbold had cocaine at a level of 225ng/ml in her body, which the toxicology report described as "high recreational use".

In the post-mortem report, the pathologist stated it "appears most likely that death was due to acute cocaine toxicity".

However, Ms Newbold's family asked another pathologist to review that report and he said her injuries could not be excluded from having played a part in her death.

The inquest is due to be held at the Council House, Nottingham, on 15 and 16 November.

The coroner will consider how Ms Newbold died but not whether any individual was responsible for her death.

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