A grandmother who was found dead in a hotel bath did not intend to kill herself, an inquest ruled.

Assistant coroner Robert Chapman determined that Jacqueline Ayre died due to alcohol-related drowning.

The 65-year-old, of Belle Isle Street, Workington, was found by staff at the town’s Washington Central Hotel on January 23.

The inquest at the Coroner's Court in Cockermouth heard how Mrs Ayre had 322mcg alcohol in 100ml of blood – four times more than the drink-driving level.

"That's enormous," said assistant coroner Robert Chapman, referring to the pathologist's report.

He said: "She was at the stage where the alcohol in itself could have killed her."

But he concluded that immersion and intoxication were the causes of her death.

The retired child protection officer had checked herself into the hotel, in Washington Street, on January 22 after her husband picked her up from her son's house because she was drunk. This had upset and aggravated her.

In his evidence, her husband Reginald Ayre said he took her home to make sure she was safe and took her bank cards off her so she could not buy any more alcohol. But she packed a bag, found some cash and left.

Mr Ayre said: "She didn't say she was going to do anything. She just took off. This isn't that unusual. She would often storm off and come back when she sobered up."

He received a call from his wife that afternoon. She told him she was fine but wouldn't tell her husband where she was. That was the last time he heard from her.

The inquest heard she checked into the hotel at about 1.30pm. After going to her room she got a drink from the bar but had also been shopping and bought clothes as well as a bottle of gin and some tonic water.

Giving evidence, former hotel manager Kayleigh Hayden said she saw Mrs Ayre in the reception area before she served her the only drink she got from the bar.

The manager said she saw Mrs Ayre on a couple of occasions that afternoon and said although she was less coherent it was not to an alarming point. She had also visited the room at one point but said there was nothing [no alcohol] on show. She did, however, ask her bar staff not to serve her any alcohol.

The next morning Mrs Ayre was found in the bath of hot water.

Reports from police officers, who were at the scene, confirmed she drank most of the bottle of gin and had written a note which read, "had my last meal".

Her medical history showed records from 2013 that she had attended her GP with low moods, that she was on mirtazapine - an antidepressant - and had been seen by the Crisis Team and in A&E when she was intoxicated and had contemplated taking her own life.

When asked by the coroner if he thought his wife had intended to take her own life, Mr Ayre said: "No. She was frightened of water. If she intended to take her own life she would have found another way of doing it."

Drawing his conclusions, Mr Chapman said: "The amount she had had to drink meant that she must have been very drunk indeed and I think somebody at the sort of level could not make a proper decision that they intended to kill themself."

Despite the note she had written, he said the fact that she had gone out and bought new clothes was "overwhelming evidence" that Mrs Ayre had not wanted to end her life.