Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final days of mother-of-two's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
The Coroner concluded that Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose
A full inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof, who was found slumped dead on a bed at home after taking heroin, has taken place.
The pathologist Peter Jerreat said during the inquest, held at Gravesend Coroner's Office at 10am, that puncture wounds were found on Peaches' body along her wrists and thumbs.
Evidence of codine, methadone and morphine were found in her blood stream.
The levels of heroin in her body were in a “fatal range”, he said.
“The brain was slightly swollen due to a lack of oxygen to the brain but all other internal organs were normal,” Jerreat added.
Geldof’s widowed husband, Thomas Cohen, also gave evidence at the inquest.
Asked by the Coroner, Roger Hatch, whether Peaches Geldof had been a Heroin addict, he answered: “Yes”.
“I found her in the spare bedroom. We both used it when the kids were sleeping,” Cohen told the Coroner, answering a series of questions about the socialite's past drug use.
Cohen said that he had no concerns for Geldof’s wellbeing after he spoke to his wife for the last time at 5.40pm on Sunday 6 April.
He said that he went to the house to check up on her after he was unable to contact her the following morning.
Cohen confirmed that Geldof had been seeking treatment for a drugs problem over the past two years, and said that she was undergoing weekly drugs tests. He said Geldof always informed him that they had been clear.
Video: Thomas Cohen leaves the inquest
The Coroner asked Cohen if he now believed Geldof had been lying about the drugs tests.
Cohen answered: “Yes”.
He further admitted to having found some texts on her mobile phone in February 2014 that suggested that Peaches had been using heroin again.
Asked by the Coroner whether he knew that there were drugs in the house at the time of her death, Cohen said he was unaware of any such supply until they were found by police alongside the body.
He said that he believes she had retrieved them from the loft.
DCI Paul Fotheringham from Kent Police then detailed the evidence outlining the final moments of Peaches Geldof’s life.
DCI Fotheringham said it was “obvious” to Cohen when he found body in the spare room that she was dead.
She was discovered wearing a grey dress and long-sleeved striped top, the inquest heard. Drug paraphernalia, including tights, spoons, a capped syringe - which was found hidden in a box of sweets by her body - and resin from heroin were all recovered from the scene.
Police also found a bag containing 6.9g of heroin. Other suspicious items found at the scene included cotton wool, burnt spoons and citric acid, he said.
On the purity of the heroin found in the house, he concluded it was of high grade at around 61 per cent, and worth somewhere between £350 and £500.
He said that police believe that the heroin was prepared outside of the spare bedroom, before she then injected the lethal dose.
“Someone who stops or ceases to use heroin then resumes is less able to tolerate the levels they previously had,” Coroner Roger Hatch said, in summary.
He added that it was clear that Peaches had been taking heroin from the paraphernalia found in her home, which included 27 methadone bottles.
Peaches had been taking strong levels of heroin, he said, but that her tolerance levels had declined over time.
“It has been said this is a case of history repeating itself. But this is not entirely so,” the Coroner concluded.
The reason she was different to her mother, he implied, was that she had tried to rehabilitate herself.
Her death, he said, would be recorded as “drugs related”, and he expressed his deep sympathy to the Geldof family.
Following the inquest, Kent Police released the following report from Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham regarding the cause of Peaches Geldof's death. DCI Paul Fotheringham attends the inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof on 23 July 2014 in Gravesend, England
It read: "It has been established that Peaches Geldof-Cohen had been previously addicted to Heroin for a number of years but that more recently had ceased taking the drug. Peaches had been supported by drug treatment workers for 2 ½ years being prescribed methadone.
"Peaches had indicated her desire to come off of methadone completely, and was following a plan to reduce the level of methadone she was taking. A drugs test in November indicated that she was not taking any illicit drug.
"Witnesses report that around February of this year there was a suspicion that Peaches had started using illicit drugs again including being found with a substance believed to be heroin at her home address. Following her death, drugs paraphernalia was found in the house and a quantity of high grade Heroin was found to be secreted in a cupboard in the bedroom Peaches regularly used.
"The Post Mortem found evidence of recent puncture marks on the inside of both elbows and on her left hand; the toxicology indicates a fatal level of heroin in the body. The Pathologist states cause of death to be Opiate Intoxication.
"When considering all of the above information, I, as the Senior Investigating Officer, conclude that Peaches Geldof-Cohen died of a heroin overdose.
"From known contact between Peaches and her family and friends her death occurred at or after 8:00pm on the evening of Sunday 4th April 2014 and from evidence available she was at her home address alone with her son Phaedra.
"There is no indication that any other third party was present or involved in her death and there is no indication that Peaches intended to take her own life or harm herself in any way as she was reported to be of happy disposition and planning for the future with friends and family."
The socialite, writer and TV presenter was found slumped on her bed by her husband, Thomas Cohen, at her home in Kent on 7 April. She was just 25.
A preliminary hearing ruled that “recent levels of heroin could have played a role” in her death.
This was particularly tragic as her own mother, Paula Yates, had suffered a similar fate in 2000. She was found dead in her Notting Hill apartment after a heroin overdose.
Geldof posted a childhood photograph of herself and her mother, whose death it was believed she never fully came to terms with, via her Instagram account shortly before she passed away.
A police investigation into the supply of the drugs is ongoing.
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