THE landlady of a Monmouth pub died after falling down 'narrow, steep and ill lit' stairs at the premises she had run with her husband in the town for more than 20 years.

Judith Ramsden, 65, was found by husband Phil at the bottom of stairs leading to living quarters at the town's Gate House pub - close to the old Monnow Bridge - in the early hours of Saturday February 9 2019.

The drawer of a cash till was lying under her chest, and coins were strewn down the stairs.

In a statement read at an inquest into her death - at Gwent Coroner's Court in Newport - Mr Ramsden said that he and his wife had both had a "reasonable drink of alcohol" in the bar on the Friday evening, and described them as having been "nicely merry".

He said the stairs to the living quarters, which had no handrail, were "steep and narrow", and he had been in "panic and shock" when he found his wife had fallen. Emergency services had been called, but Mrs Ramsden was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 4.30am.

The couple, who married in 1995, had bought the Gatehouse in 1997 and invested in considerable improvements. But after more than 20 years there, they were looking at selling up.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mrs Ramsden had suffered a blunt trauma injury to the right side of her face, and bruising to the left side of her scalp.

She had also sustained a fracture to the C6-C7 vertebrae, consistent with hyper-extension of the neck, the latter injury being the primary cause of her death.

The amount of alcohol found in her blood was the equivalent of one-and-a-half times above the legal drink-drive limit.

Her injuries were consistent with a fall down the stairs and there was no evidence of suspicious circumstances.

Senior Coroner for Gwent Caroline Saunders said it is unclear what caused Mrs Ramsden to fall, and that though she had consumed a "significant amount" of alcohol " its effects could not be ascertained.

She added that evidence had revealed the stairs to be "poorly maintained, steep and ill lit" and that Mrs Ramsden had fallen on her way to the living quarters after cashing up, and had suffered a fatal injury.

Conclusion: Accident.