Charles Bronson’s ex Paula Williamson’s death ‘drug related’ as cocaine found in her system

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Paula Williamson's death was drug related, a coroner has ruled.

The Coronation Street star, who was famously married to renowned prisoner Charles Bronson, was tragically found dead on July 29, 2019 aged just 38.

The full inquest into her death was held at Civic Centre in Stoke on January 6 and revealed that Paula had been taking drugs before her death, but didn't "realise the consequence of those substances all working together would cause her to pass away".

Charles, as well as some of Paula's family members, joined the inquest via video call, while other family members were present in the courtroom, reports Stoke Sentinel.

A toxicology report read out in court revealed Paula had a number of substances in her blood, including therapeutic levels of several types of medication, plus cocaine and alcohol.

Paula Williamson was found dead in her home on July 29, 2019
(Image: Daily Mirror)

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The report concludes that the cumulative effect of these substances could have had a fatal effect.

Area coroner Emma Serrano said: "In the lead up to her passing away she wasn't expressing any suicidal thoughts and there was no behaviour to suggest she wasn't happy."

Ms Serrano added: "Paula had been taking substances. She did not realise the consequence of those substances all working together would cause her to pass away."

At the inquest, Bronson, who is now known as Charles Salvador, had asked questions regarding what happened on the day of Paula's death, which the coroner said will be addressed by the inquest.

He was warned about his behaviour after he was given the opportunity to ask questions to Mr Jones.

Ms Serrano told him she will not tolerate any name calling or threats being made in court.

Paula tied the knot to notorious prisoner Charles Bronson in 2017
(Image: SWNS)

He had also been warned to make sure his questions were relevant to the scope of the inquest.

Paula's partner Peter Jones was called up as the first witness during the inquest.

Peter – who had been living with Paula at the time of her death – said she had gone out with friends on July 28, 2019, despite feeling unwell.

She came home with a friend at 11.15pm and later went to bed while he slept on the sofa. He then went up to their room at 6.40am on July 29 and found her unresponsive.

He said: "I knew something was wrong. I tried to wake her. I couldn't wake her up."

Peter added that Paula – officially known as Paula Joy Salvador – was prescribed medication for anxiety and depression.

Asked if she had given any indication she was feeling suicidal, he said: "There was no inkling whatsoever. We were planning on getting married. There was a lot to look forward to."

The parents of Paula Williamson attending her inquest at Stoke on Trent Coroners Court, Civic Centre, Stoke
(Image: Stoke Sentinel/BPM MEDIA)

In a statement read out in court, Paula's mum, Hazel Williamson, said she had been suffering with depression after her acting career did not take off.

She said Paula had been writing her autobiography at the start of 2019 and had felt under pressure by deadlines.

Mrs Williamson said she had been "much happier" since starting a relationship with Mr Jones.

The second and final witness of the inquest was DC Phil Pegg, from Staffordshire Police.

DC Pegg said the investigation found there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Paula’s death.

He added: "Some drugs were recovered from the bedroom. They tested positive for cocaine. However, it was unknown where she had obtained that, when or who from."

Paula was buried on what would have been her 39th birthday on August 19, 2019
(Image: Daily Mirror)

An initial inquest hearing was held in August 2019 shortly after her death.

The initial inquest was confirmed by North Staffordshire assistant coroner Sarah Murphy that Paula was found at her home by her partner with two bags of white powder stuck to her.

Miss Murphy said: "She has previously suffered with anxiety and depression.

"I have reason to suspect the death was unnatural and an inquest will have to take place."

Paula married Bronson in 2017 a year after they met.

Friends and family gathered for the small marriage ceremony at HMP Wakefield, with Bronson handcuffed to a prison warden for the entire two-hour event.

Charles – who has spent the last 47 years of his life behind bars for a litany of offences – gifted Paula a ring in this box
(Image: Daily Mirror)

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Paula jetted off to Malta for their honeymoon without him Bronson after the marriage was official, it was reported at the time.

However after just 16 months together and just one month before her death, their union was set to be annulled.

Bronson – who is serving a life term for robbery and kidnap – reportedly filed for divorce after pictures emerged of Paula letting a man bury his head in her breasts.

Paula asked for their marriage to be annulled as they did not have the chance to consummate their marriage behind bars.

Soon after, she was found dead at her home in Stoke-on-Trent.

The actress appeared on Coronation Street three times between 2008 and 2012 as an unnamed nurse
(Image: Daily Mirror)

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A statement from the Staffordshire Police at the time of her death read: "A woman from Stoke-on-Trent who was found dead this morning has been named as Paula Williamson, aged 38.

"Paula's body was found in a house on Gordon Avenue, Sneyd Green, at around 7am.

"A post mortem will take place to establish the cause of death but the death is not being treated as suspicious. A report is now being prepared for the Coroners.

"Next of kin have been informed. The family have asked for their right to privacy to allow them to grieve at this difficult time."

Paula was buried on what would have been her 39th birthday on August 19, 2019.

Paula's ex Charles was not among those at the funeral at Saviours Church in Stoke.

Paula has moved in with her new partner just weeks before she died
(Image: Daily Mirror)

The actress appeared on Coronation Street three times between 2008 and 2012 as an unnamed nurse.

She had also starred in TV shows including Hollyoaks where she played a doctor, Scott & Bailey and Emmerdale.

Just days before her unexpected death, Bronson said in an interview from behind bars that he had 'found true love' and planned to wed again.

He has spent the last 47 years of his life behind bars for a litany of offences.

Bronson was first sent to jail for armed robbery in 1974 and has remained behind bars indefinitely due to repeated violent attacks on prison staff.

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