MYSTERY surrounds the death of a Herefordshire woman in India.

Sarah Elizabeth Allen, of Henry Street, Ross-on-Wye, was found in a Goa hotel room with no obvious signs of internal injury.

A Hereford inquest heard how she had a history of heroin addiction and was found in a room containing needles scattered on the floor. Indian police found the 28-year-old slumped on a bed with blood on her pillow on February 18, 2004.

Dr Rodrigues, from the Foresenic Medical College in Goa, undertook a post mortem and recorded that her death was a result of natural causes due to a lung problem.

But Dr Mark Hayes, a Hereford pathologist who undertook a second post mortem on February 27, 2004, said: "There were some puncture marks on her body and these could have been due to the use of drugs, but it was not possible to be certain about the cause of death."

Coroner David Halpern recorded an open verdict. "The original post mortem appears to indicate natural causes of death but unfortunately it was not possible to check this back in England," he said. "All that the English pathologist could come up with was that he could not ascertain the cause of death."