Accident verdict on river death of woman, 21, in Brecon

Image caption,
Kirsty Jones's mother, Adele, called her "brilliant and lively"

A 21-year-old woman died in a swollen river while celebrating a friend's 18th birthday, an inquest has been told.

Kirsty Jones, a waitress from Brecon, Powys, drowned after falling into the town's River Usk, near Watergate Bridge, on 21 November 2009.

Her body was found three days later by a farmer near the village of Talybont-on-Usk, five miles away, the Brecon inquest heard.

Powys coroner Peter Maddox recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The cause of death was given as drowning at Monday's inquest.

The hearing was told she had been out drinking with friends celebrating the 18th birthday of James Shaw.

Image caption,
Kirsty Jones was last seen near this spot on the River Usk in Brecon

Mr Shaw said he and Ms Jones had been drinking at her house, but "one of the boys had been winding her up", and she "stormed off in a mood".

He added: "I knew she was going towards the water so I chased her and grabbed hold of her. She was a pretty strong girl.

"I did the best I could to keep hold of her, but she was getting under the railings.

"I was trying to get a better grip but she then she was in the water. I was shouting 'help' but there was no-one there. I couldn't hold her any longer. I tried my best."

Paul Smith, a witness who saw here slip underneath the railings, told the inquest: "The young man was holding her and screaming, 'Don't, don't. Stop.'

"She was trying to wriggle as much as she could to get away from his clutches. Within the blink of an eye she was in the river and gone."

Powys coroner Peter Maddox said: "Kirsty had consumed a fair amount of alcohol and the amount one drinks clearly impairs judgement."

Speaking after the inquest, her mother Adele, 39, said: "Kirsty was brilliant, lovely and lived life to the full."

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