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Former Shrewsbury mayor wants to make sure 'no-one else dies like Amy'

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shrewsbury's former mayor has said she wants to make sure no-one else dies like her daughter who suffered from alcohol addiction.

Jane Mackenzie with a photograph of her daughter Amy Liebich.

Amy Liebich, 37, died on May 15 last year after a long battle with alcohol dependency issues. She was a keen fundraiser, had been involved in organising the Shrewsbury Comic Festival and had also served as a councillor.

Since her death her mother, Shropshire councillor and former mayor Jane Mackenzie, has been campaigning to try and banish the stigma surrounding addiction and has set up a charity called Share Shrewsbury, with the aim of boosting support services for addicts in the area.

Amy's inquest took place at Shropshire Coroner's Court, where family including her mum, dad Peter Liebich, sisters Jessica and Laura, and brother Cian were in attendance.

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The court heard that she was found at her flat in Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, by a care worker who had been visiting her daily.

The worker called paramedics, but there was nothing that could be done to save Amy and they confirmed her death.

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A toxicology report found that she had 359mg of alcohol in 100dcl of blood. The drink drive limit is 80, and 359 would usually be considered a fatal amount, according to the toxicologist.

Amy had spoken to her mum and dad on the phone the day before, and they described her as sounding a bit tired, but nothing out of the ordinary that would raise concerns.

Complex

At a previous hearing in November last year, Jane raised concerns that Amy was not given the support she needed from addiction support services in Shrewsbury. Coroner John Ellery looked into the issues but did not call any witnesses

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Mr Ellery said: "I have no reason to believe that any agency caused or contributed to her death," and he recorded a conclusion of alcohol-related death.

Jane, though, feels that more could have been done to help Amy when she engaged with services.

After the hearing, she said: "Services in Shropshire are not able to provide the support that people in recovery need.

"I'm sure there are a number of complex reasons for this, but I just want to make sure no-one else dies like Amy did.

"I want to work with Shropshire Recovery Partnership and other organisations to improve services in Shropshire for people suffering from alcohol addiction.

"We are talking with Shropshire Council and services to see if we can work together and change the stigma around addiction."

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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