A coroner has concluded that a West Bridgford woman died from the effects of taking cocaine, rather than as a result of 50 injuries found on her body.
The inquest looked at the last hours of Tara Newbold, 29, who lived with Duane Ballin in Alford Court. The couple had three children.
Ballin, 35, gave evidence at the hearing at the Council House. He was brought from prison where he is serving a 15-year term for causing grievous bodily harm with intent in October two years ago.
He was criticised by assistant coroner Andrew McNamara who questioned him and said: “Even now, with little to lose, he appears unwilling to engage with the truth and was a little too quick to hide behind the hallmarks of the dissembler.”
The coroner said that Ballin had been “a sadistic and callous user” of Tara, who was a victim of his “domineering and controlling behaviour.”
But the coroner said he was guided by the evidence of Home Office pathologist Dr Michael Biggs, who said the injuries were not sufficient to have killed her.
He said that he had looked at the suggestion that Ballin made her take the drug. But he said: “It is not safe to conclude that.”
Mr McNamara praised the “graciousness” of the family, who have raised repeated concerns about the way Tara’s death was investigated and taken to court.