Coroner gives open verdict over mystery death of Scot in Ghana

Eric Adusah after the inquest into the death of his wife Charmain Speirs. Picture: PA
Eric Adusah after the inquest into the death of his wife Charmain Speirs. Picture: PA
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The mystery surrounding the death of a Scottish woman at a hotel in Ghana will hang over her husband “for the rest of his life”, her mother has said, after a coroner recorded an open conclusion at her inquest.

Charmain Speirs, 41, who was reportedly pregnant at the time, was found lifeless in the bath of a hotel room in the city of Koforidua in March 2015, two days after her husband Eric Adusah had returned to the UK, the inquest in Chelmsford heard.

Mr Adusah, a Christian preacher from Ghana, was arrested on suspicion of her murder by local police but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence, the inquest heard.

An initial post-mortem examination in Ghana gave the medical cause of death as a heroin overdose and a second post-mortem examination eight months later in the UK found no evidence of assault, the hearing was told.

After hearing from Home Office pathologist Charlotte Randall, who carried out the second post-mortem, Senior Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray rejected possible conclusions of unlawful killing, suicide and accidental death.

Recording the medical cause of death as acute opiate poisoning, she said: “We shall never quite know what happened. There just isn’t the evidence.”

Earlier Mr Adusah, who wore a wedding ring, said: “I wasn’t there but my name has gone everywhere and I have no idea what happened.

“I don’t know how it got in her body. My wife never took that in the house. I never saw her do anything like that.”

Ms Speirs’s mother Linda, from Arbroath said: “It is still hanging over him. It’s open, so it will hang over him for the rest of his life.”

She told reporters that it would “definitely” be impossible for her daughter to inject or put heroin into her own body.

“She wouldn’t have done it. We know that for a fact. She just wouldn’t have done it,” she said.

The inquest heard that the body of Ms Speirs was found by staff at the Mac-Dic Royal Plaza Hotel after she did not check-out at midday on March 20, 2015, as scheduled.

Ms Randall, who conducted the second post mortem after the body was returned to Essex where Ms Speirs lived, said her examination was limited by the fact the body had been embalmed and more than eight months had passed since her death.

The Ghanaian post-mortem was conducted within a week of the death.

Mr Adusah is leader of the Global Light Revival Ministries Church based in London.