Peaches Geldof inquest told she hid heroin in sweet box
Peaches Geldof's husband Tom Cohen says the 25-year-old presenter had started using heroin again in February this year as inquest hears there was no evidence she intended to take her own life
The fatal heroin dose that killed Peaches Geldof was discovered in a box containing sweets, an inquest has heard.
The 25-year-old mother of two was found dead in April in the spare bedroom of her home in Kent, with her 11-month old son Phaedra, close by in another room.
Having successfully beaten her heroin addiction several months before, the inquest heard she had begun using again in February this year.
Police who searched the house after her death discovered almost seven grams of high purity heroin worth around £550 hidden in a cloth bag in a cupboard.
Elsewhere they also found almost 80 needles and a number of burnt spoons, used by addicts to prepare the drug for injection.
The syringe containing the fatal dose was discovered in a cardboard box next to the bed containing sweets.
Miss Geldof’s own mother, Paula Yates died of a heroin overdose in 2000 and the hearing heard how on the night before her death, she had posted a picture of herself as a child with her late mother on a social networking page, with the message: “Me and my mum.”
At the full inquest into her tragic death, the coroner for North West Kent, Roger Hatch, said Miss Geldof had been a regular heroin user, but had been successfully receiving treatment and had been free of the drug just four months before her death.
Her husband, Thomas Cohen, who discovered her body, told the inquest that in November 2013, routine tests had indicated that she was free of heroin.
He said she had also been working to reduce her dose of the heroin substitute, Methadone, prescribe to addicts.
But in February this year Mr Cohen said he had found messages on her phone, suggesting she had resumed her use of the drug.
After confronting her he said she had retrieved a quantity of heroin from the loft of their home and had flushed it down the lavatory.
The inquest heard how her tolerance to the effects of heroin would have been much reduced during the period when she was no longer using and that, combined with the high 61 per cent purity of the narcotics found, would have contributed to the fatal overdose.
Describing the scene at the four-bedroom house in Wrotham, Kent, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, told the inquest in Gravesend, Miss Geldof had been found in a spare room, which was often used by her or her husband when they wanted to share a bed with one of their children.
DCI Fotheringham said: “Peaches was wearing a grey dress and a long sleeved striped top. Peaches was located perched on the side edge of the bed with her left arm hanging down to the floor with her right foot tucked underneath her.
“She was slumped forward onto her front with her left arm draped over an open laptop computer
“Underneath Peaches body was an Apple iPhone, a packet of cigarettes and a pair of black tights with a knot tied into them. Also on the bed was a small clear coloured cap thought to have come from a syringe.
“Underneath the bed a dessert spoon was located with visible burn marks on the underside and a small amount of a brown residue on the upper side.
“Next to the bed and within reaching distance of Peaches was an open brown cardboard box containing sweets; a capped syringe was located in this box
“It was noted that there was a small amount of a brown fluid left in the main chamber and another small amount of residue/fluid inside the cap.
“This residue was tested by Forensic scientists who have confirmed that the brown residue found does contain traces of diamorphine, which is commonly known as heroin.”
DCI Fotheringham added: “Detailed searches of the whole premises took place and located heroin and various items used for the preparation and consumption of heroin.
“The major discovery in the second of four bedrooms was a black cloth bag stored in a cupboard over the bedroom door.
“Located within this cloth bag was part of a plastic bag tied together by a dark hair band, the bag contained a brown powder. This powder was later examined by a Forensic Scientist Dr Peter Cain.
“He confirmed that the brown powder was 6.91 grams of Diamorphine, more commonly known as Heroin with a purity of 61 per cent.”
The inquest was told that street heroin usually has a purity level of around 26 per cent.
DCI Fotheringham said there was an ongoing police investigation to establish who had supplied Miss Geldof with the heroin but no arrests had been made.
The inquest heard there was no evidence that Miss Geldof had intended to take her own life.
Summing up the findings, Mr Hatch said: “It is said that the death of Peaches Geldof is history repeating itself.
"This is not entirely so as by November last year she had ceased to take heroin as a result of the considerable treatment and counselling she had received."
“This was a significant achievement for her. For reasons we will never know, prior to her death she returned to taking heroin again.
“I am left with no alternative than to record that the death of Peaches Honeyblossom Cohen-Geldof was drugs related. May I express my sympathies to the family.”
Mr Cohen left the inquest without comment.