Tragedy as talented young singer from Castleford drowned after falling into bath in epileptic seizure

A talented young singer who suffered with epilepsy drowned after she fell into her bath during a seizure, an inquest was told.

Vocal coach Ellie Hill-Brown had celebrated her 23rd birthday the day before her body was discovered by her mother.

Georgina Hill-Brown let herself into Ellie’s home on Hugh Street on Castleford after failing to get hold of her on the phone.

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She then made the horrific discovery of her daughter laid in the bath.

There was a shallow amount of water still in the tub, but it was noted that visible cracks in the lining may have drained away much of the excess water.

In a statement from Mrs Hill-Brown that was read out to Wakefield Coroner’s Court today, she attempted CPR on Ellie despite realising she had passed away. She said she was cold to the touch and her limbs had stiffened.

Ellie’s death was confirmed by paramedics at 10.53am. Toxicology tests showed traces of epilepsy medication in her system, although there was no suggestion they contributed to her death.

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The pathologist said a study of her lungs was consistent with drowning. Area coroner Oliver Longstaff recorded a conclusion of accidental death. He said: “She is likely to have fallen into the bath during the course of an epileptic seizure.”

Ellie Hill-Brown, who died after falling to her bath during an epileptic seizure.Ellie Hill-Brown, who died after falling to her bath during an epileptic seizure.
Ellie Hill-Brown, who died after falling to her bath during an epileptic seizure.

He added: "It’s overwhelmingly likely, on the grounds of probability, that Ellie died from a consequence of drowning in her bath in the throws of an epileptic seizure.”

The inquest heard that Ellie was born in Salford in Lancashire but her family moved to West Yorkshire when she was young.

She attended Castleford High School and New College, before securing a place at Askham Bryan College to study animal care, but was forced to leave after six months due to her epilepsy diagnosis at the age of 19.

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Ellie worked various jobs thereafter, including Five Guys in Castleford and often worked as a vocal coach. She regularly uploaded videos of herself singing on YouTube where she had hundreds of subscribers.

On the day before her death, she had celebrated her birthday with her mother by going to a Chinese restaurant. Afterwards, she told her mother she was tired and was heading home, where she lived alone, to have a bath before going to bed. The inquest heard that she was prone to night-time seizures and suffered bouts of depression brought on by her condition. However, Mrs Hill-Brown said Ellie had been in a good mood because she had jut be accepted back onto her college course and was looking to the future.

Mr Longstaff said: “It’s very, very sad that someone who has been through difficulties should lose their life in circumstances such as these, especially when her life was on the up.”

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