Widow in limbo after tragedy

Tricia Schofield holding a picture of herself and her late husband Brian Schofield
Tricia Schofield holding a picture of herself and her late husband Brian Schofield
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Tricia Schofield has spent her life savings trying to find out why 55-year-old Brian Schofield collapsed as they holidayed together in Goa.

But more than 18 months since the tragedy, the Indian authorities have failed to provide Mrs Schofield with a cause of death – which she says has trapped her in limbo, unable to move on with her life .

Mother-of-two Mrs Schofield, of Shipley Road, St Annes, said: “I’ve been back to Goa three times and I’ve spent my life savings trying to sort this out.

“I just feel on my own and like no-one is bothered – I think my husband is worth more than that, he was a good man.

“I want closure. My husband took insurance out and I can’t claim anything without the cause of death – but I’m not bothered about the money, I just need to know why my husband died so I can put him to rest.”

The couple were on holiday in November 2009 when Mr Schofield collapsed in the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Mrs Schofield discovered his lifeless body in the morning and said she knew instantly “he was dead”.

A police investigation was launched and eight days later his body was allowed to return to the UK following an autopsy, but no cause of death has ever formally been given.

Without it, the UK inquest – opened at Blackpool Coroner’s Court in November 2009 – is standing adjourned.

Mrs Schofield, 55, said: “They said another autopsy wouldn’t be needed. I wish I had had it done now, but I was in such a state of shock and I didn’t want anybody else touching his body.

“I went back to Goa in the March with my sister to see the police, and they said he had fallen and banged his head.

I said I needed that in writing and I thought they had given it to me, but there was nothing in the autopsy report to say how he died.

“I went back again last November and they said his file was finished.”

Mrs Schofield hired a lawyer in Goa to look into her case, but was forced to call off the investigation because of spiralling costs.

She is now hoping someone in the UK will be able to assist her in getting the closure she needs.

She added: “I need to know why he died.

“He was just a healthy person and I need to know if it was a heart attack or a brain haemorrhage before I can move on.

“I’m trying my best to be strong.”

The High Commission of India failed to respond to a request for comment.