Dec 07, 2012
A British solicitor who embalmed his wife’s body soon after she died of a drug overdose in a Phnom Penh hotel has faced some difficult questions at the UK inquest into her death.
The couple had been married for six months when they embarked on a four-week trip to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
“Were you in any way involved with others in any intention to end your wife’s life?” her husband Damian Cadman-Jones, 31, was asked by the coroner, during proceedings at Leicester town hall reported by The Telegraph.
Mr Cadman-Jones denied that he was and also refuted suggestions that he had contacted his wife’s life insurance firm in Zurich on the day of her death.
The inquest also heard that Mr Cadman-Jones had his 27-year-old wife embalmed, something that could dilute drug levels found in the bloodstream and therefore hamper toxicology tests.
In reply to the question: “Why were you so desperate to have your wife’s body embalmed within 48 hours of her death?” Mr Cadman-Jones told the inquest he made the decision so that his wife’s mother could say goodbye to her daughter, after she was returned from Cambodia.
The coroner criticised statements that Mr Cadman-Jones gave to authorities, saying they were inconsistent and contradictory.
Mr Cadman-Jones told the inquest that he and his wife had been offered a drug they believed was cocaine by two travellers they had met in a bar. He said his wife had been an occasional cocaine user.
The coroner recorded an open verdict.