A PENSIONER who collapsed in the street after a row with another dog walker died of natural causes, an inquest heard.

Valerie Ager’s death near her home in Connaught Garden, Braintree, was initially investigated as murder and then manslaughter.

A 39-year-old man was arrested, but released without charge.

An inquest at Chelmsford Coroners Court yesterday heard the 65-year-old had probably suffered a heart attack 18 to 24 hours before her death. This had caused severe narrowing of her arteries and blood vessels and damage to her heart muscle.

Coroner Michelle Brown recorded a verdict of natural causes.

Mrs Ager did not visit a doctor or hospital after the heart attack and may not have known she was ill.

In the minutes before her death earlier this year, Mrs Ager and her husband Robert had became involved in a row in the street with a 39-year-old male dog walker.

Mr Ager told the court his wife had been upset by the confrontation and tried to walk away.

He said: “We tried to go home, but the man followed us.

“I wanted to take my wife in to our house because she was crying.

“She was frightened and did not want the man to know where we lived, so we walked a longer way home.

“She collapsed in the street. She died at someone else’s house instead of in her own home.”

Ms Brown told the court medical evidence provided from the post-mortem examination showed Mrs Ager had died on January 4 as a result of the heart attack the day before.

She said Mrs Ager’s sudden death could have occured at any point.

She said: “I am satisfied there is no link between the altercation and the tragic event.”