The following report extracted from the Irish publication The PHOENIX – David, Blogmaster
THE DEATH on December 30 of 40 year old Emma McManus, daughter-in-law of zillionaire JP McManus, in the exclusive Caribbean Sandy Lane resort, reverberated around the super rich circles in Barbados as well as back home in Ireland.
Confusion was the order of the day and the memorial service initially planned take place at the start of January was deferred until the following week. Now the inquest is putting the tragedy back under the spotlight, featuring disputed references to alleged cocaine use.
Emma was married John Paul McManus, son of the Geneva based tax exile JP, who found himself giving evidence at inquest in Barbados yesterday – an experience that proved predictably intrusive. As reported in the local Daily Nation newspaper, John McManus had to deny that he told the office of coroner Graveney Bannister in a telephone call, allegedly made shortly after the death of Emma, that they had been doing “a little cocaine”.
McManus confirmed there had been a party at their Sandy Lane property but denied he had told the official at the coroner’s office that any cocaine had been taken, also rebutting a claim that he had a convenient memory. When asked if he was claiming that Bannister was “making it all up”, McManus suggested the coroner had misheard him and also said he “would happily take a test for it”.
The inquest also heard that there was a dispute about calls allegedly made asking how quickly Emma McManus’s body could be released for burial, with John McManus denying he had repeatedly telephoned the coroner: “We were in a state of grieving and people were eager for answers, so it wasn’t me that did anything”.
His statement to the police, which was read into evidence by Sergeant Robert Jones, said the Emma McManus had left Sandy Lane’s Monkey Bar around 11.30pm on December 29 to return to the house, while her husband was taken home around 4am and put on the couch to sleep.
In the morning, he found his wife dead in the bed and she was rushed to Sandy Crest hospital. McManus’s statement concluded, “She was not smoking anything and I don’t know if she was taking any narcotics.”
The inquest has been adjourned until next month, when the toxicology report is to be read to the court.