THE body of woman found in a Hereford home was so badly decomposed that it had to be identified through dental records, an inquest heard this week.

Julie Hanne, aged 54, of Rosebury Close, Moorfields, was only discovered on November 18 when British Gas obtained a warrant to enter her property.

Police were called to the address shortly after and found Ms Hanne to be in a state of "mummification", having been deceased for several months, the inquest heard.

Pathologist Dr Mark Hayes said Ms Hanne’s body showed "extensive decomposition and mummification", and the cause of death was unascertainable due to the “extreme” post-mortem change.

Dr Ceri Dewar, forensic odontologist, was able to identify Ms Hanne through her dental records.

Teeth missing in the post-mortem examination matched those of Ms Hanne prior to death.

Dr Andrew Watts, of Sarum House Surgery in Hereford, told the inquest in written evidence that Ms Hanne had used alcohol excessively until 2002 and had been advised to cut back.

She had also experienced "low mood" in 2007 and was given drugs to help combat that until 2012.

By February 8, 2013, she had stopped drinking but her physical condition was poor, the inquest heard.

She had also suffered from several cases of broken bones over the years.

Police ruled out any third party involvement and coroner for Herefordshire, Mark Bricknell, said there were no suspicious circumstances.

He agreed with Dr Hayes that the cause of death was unascertainable due to the extreme post-mortem change and recorded an open verdict.