Date: 6 Jan 2006
Cherie Bendig was found dead in her bedroom having died from a ruptured spleen.
She was found dead in a bedroom at 7.30pm on Friday 6 January 2006.
Someone called her neighbour who said that when he went into the house he found her dead on a bed upstairs. He said that he had some first aid experience and could tell that she had been dead for two or three hours. He said 'I felt for vital signs, like a pulse, but she didn't have any. I started mouth-to-mouth straight away and kept it up until the paramedics came. You expect them to gasp and open their eyes at any moment, but she didn't.'.
The post-mortem into her death proved inconclusive. She died from internal bleeding caused by a blow to her chest which ruptured her spleen.
Her boyfriend was arrested for her murder but not charged although he was later convicted of unlawfully wounding her and assaulting her causing actual bodily harm.
The Coroner ruled that her death was not accidental but there was not enough evidence to show how her injury occurred.
She had been living with her boyfriend who had a history of violence against women and who was jailed for five years in October 2006 for previous attacks against her as well as attacks on two of his former partners.
When a policeman was asked how likely it was that her injury had been caused by an assault he replied, 'Very Likely'. The policeman said that it was likely that her boyfriend had struck the fatal blow that killed her. However, the Coroner ruled that there was insufficient evidence to rule out the possibility that she had fallen on something.
Cherie Bendig was also an alcoholic and when she died she had a blood alcohol level six-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit. The inquest heard that the level of alcohol in her body would likely poison anyone not used to consuming large amounts. However, the pathologist said that she had not died from the alcohol itself although it had been a contributory factor. He said that she probably would not have died if she had not have had the amount of alcohol in her system that she had.
The Coroner returned an open verdict noting that Cherie Bendig had a history of being physically abused and said, 'I'm not satisfied that this is an accidental death'.
Before she died, a neighbour had seen Cherie Bendig at another house and said that she had shown her legs which were covered in bruises. She said that she took off her jeans and said that her legs were black and blue.
Both her parents died when she was young and her brother died in a house fire nine years earlier. She had a daughter.