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Woman found covered in bruises in her Dagenham home died of natural causes

PUBLISHED: 16:45 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:45 08 April 2019

Walthamstow Coroner's Court

Walthamstow Coroner's Court

Archant

A woman found covered in bruises at her home died of natural causes, a coroner has concluded.

Police and paramedics were called to Rutland Gardens, Dagenham, on June 9 where they found Lithuanian national, Gitana Matukeviciene, unconscious on her living room floor.

The 50-year-old housekeeper, described in court as a heavy drinker and possible victim of historic domestic abuse, was rushed to Queen’s Hospital where she died three days later.

Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard on Monday that the Crown Prosecution Service dropped a murder charge against Ms Matukeviciene’s partner, Dmitrij Platov, after a special post mortem failed to explain the cause of death.

Assistant coroner, Ian Wade QC, said: “I find the cause of death was not attributed to a suspicious act or offensive attack.”

The court heard that Mr Platov was interviewed for four hours after a paramedic overheard him say in Russian to Ms Matukeviciene’s nephew: ‘Be careful what you say. I don’t want them to think I killed her or have done it’.

Asked about the overheard remark, Det Sgt Adam Stoker said: “It’s likely there was a more innocent explanation behind it.”

Mantas Matukeviciene, who tried to resuscitate his aunt, described her as an alcoholic and that he had witnessed her partner punch her in the past.

“Gitana was a good person. She was too good. People who knew her said she drank a lot because she could not have children.

“I feel sad and shocked at her death.”

The court heard bruising discovered on Ms Matukeviciene’s body could have been the result of falls due to drinking.

Fractured ribs were likely to have been caused by attempts to resuscitate her, something common in CPR, the court heard.

There was no brain trauma and one bruise on her neck was not enough to suggest she had been strangled.

Samples also failed to prove conclusively that fat in her liver, likely caused by excessive drinking, had triggered a seizure Ms Matukeviciene suffered.

The assistant coroner could not conclude the death was alcohol related because of the circumstances, but said closure was desirable.

“It’s a desperately sad story,” he said.

A Met spokeswoman said the case against Mr Platov ended because there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.

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