A husband has been accused of covering up his wife’s death from a drug overdose while on honeymoon in Cambodia by a coroner who questioned why he called an insurance firm on the day she died.
Photo: Hotspot Media
Damian Cadman-Jones, 31, was on honeymoon in Cambodia with his new wife Kristy when she died in her sleep in the couple's room in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
The pair had been married for six months when they decided to travel to south east Asia as part of a dream four-week trip, taking in Thailand and Vietnam before travelling to Cambodia.
But on January 9 this year, Mrs Cadman-Jones died in her room at the Regent Park Hotel in Phnom Penh.
At the inquest into her death at Leicester town hall, where the couple were married in July 2011, Deputy Leicestershire Coroner Donald Coutts-Wood heard how the 27-year-old recruitment consultant died after taking heroin, which she mistakenly believed to be cocaine.
Her cause of death was given as morphine and codeine toxicity that was as a result of taking the drug.
But Mr Coutts-Wood challenged Mr Cadman-Jones regarding his involvement in her death, referring to the fact that insurance firm Zurich had been contacted on the day of the tragedy.
He also asked solicitor Mr Cadman-Jones about his decision to have his wife embalmed, something that could affect toxicology tests because it could dilute levels of drugs found in the bloodstream.
The inquest heard that both he and his wife held life insurance policies with Zurich but Mr Cadman-Jones said it was not him who contacted the company.
The coroner asked him: ''Did you have any involvement in the referral to Zurich about a claim on that policy on the 9th of January?''
He also told the inquest he made the decision to have his wife embalmed so that his wife's mother, Carol Heslop, who did not travel to Cambodia after her daughter's death, could say goodbye to her daughter.
The coroner asked him: ''Why were you so desperate to have your wife's body embalmed within 48 hours of her death?''
''Because Kristy was an only child and I was told that if embalming was to be done it had to be done within 48 hours, and I just wanted Carol to be able to say goodbye to Kristy,'' Mr Cadman-Jones said.
Referring to an email he sent to the British embassy stating his intention to have his wife's body embalmed, Mr Coutts-Wood asked him: ''Was the purpose of that email, to get your wife's body embalmed, an attempt by you to cover up any toxicology that could be done?'' ''No,'' Mr Cadman-Jones said.
Mr Coutts-Wood also criticised two different statements Mr Cadman-Jones gave to authorities.
In one he did not mention that he and his wife had been offered drugs but a later statement claimed a couple they met had asked if they wanted cocaine.
Mr Cadman-Jones, from Broughton Astley in Leicestershire, said he did not see his wife taking any drugs on the night of her death and he thought she had only had one drink.
He believed her death might have been something to do with a sleeping tablet she had taken or because of the actions of the doctors who attended her.
''I assumed that she had been administered a lethal amount of morphine by an incompetent doctor,'' he said.
Recording an open verdict into Mrs Cadman-Jones's death, Mr Coutts-Wood said: "It's clear to me that the lethal level of morphine is due to Mrs Cadman-Jones using a very pure heroin."
Speaking after the inquest, Leicestershire Police said there was no information to support a homicide investigation.