Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Peaches Geldof's one-year-old son was left alone with her body for up to 17 HOURS after she died of heroin overdose in room littered with syringes and 'importation grade' drugs

Peaches Geldof's baby son was left alone with her body for up to 15 hours after she died of a heroin overdose in a room littered with syringes and 'importation quality' drugs, an inquest into her death heard today.
The 25-year-old's youngest son Phaedra, who was just 11 months old, was in the family home in Wrotham, Kent, when his mother's body was discovered, some 17 hours after she last made contact with anyone.
The inquest into Ms Geldof's death heard how the journalist and model had spoken to a friend at 7.45pm on Sunday, April 6 - the last person she ever spoke to.
Her husband Tom Cohen - Phaedra's father - had been staying with his parents in south east London on the weekend of Ms Geldof's death. He had tried to call her shortly before 10pm, but got no answer.
Overdose: Peaches Geldof's body was found by her husband Thomas Cohen (right) after she died from a heroin overdose, an inquest heard today
Overdose: Peaches Geldof's body was found by her husband Thomas Cohen (right) after she died from a heroin overdose, an inquest heard today

The next day, worried that he had been unable to reach Ms Geldof after repeated attempts to contact her, Mr Cohen, his mother Susan and the couple's eldest son
Astala, two, arrived at the house - where he found her body, slumped on a bed in a spare room.
Phaedra was in another room in the house.
A coroner today concluded that Ms Geldof's death had been drug-related, after took an overdose of heroin.
The inquest in Gravesend was told that Ms Geldof was a heroin addict and took heroin substitute methadone in the two and a half years before her death.
Police investigating her death found an array of drugs paraphernalia at her home, including burnt spoons, 79 syringes and hundreds of pounds worth of 'importation quality' heroin.
Although she had been having drug treatment in the two years before she died, Mr Cohen found text messages in February which led him to suspect she was using drugs again. 

And he confirmed to the hearing that he had witnessed her flushing drugs she had hidden in their loft down the toilet.
The inquest in Gravesend was told that there was evidence of codeine, methadone and morphine - which had come from heroin - in her blood, and that the levels were within the fatal range.
'Importation quality' heroin with a 61per cent purity was discovered at Ms Geldof's home, as well as drugs paraphernalia including burnt spoons, 79 syringes, cotton wool and a capped syringe hidden inside a box of sweets.
Giving evidence, musician Mr Cohen, 25, told the hearing that he had been attending rehearsals in London over the weekend of her death. When he spoke to her at 5.40pm on the Sunday she had been coherant, and he was not concerned for her well-being.
However, on the Monday morning when he was unable to reach her by telephone, he returned to their home and discovered her body.
Family: Peaches Geldof's youngest son Phaedra (pictured left with his father and brother Astala) was alone in the house with his mother's body for up to 15 hours
Family: Peaches Geldof's youngest son Phaedra (pictured left with his father and brother Astala) was alone in the house with his mother's body for up to 15 hours

Discovery: A burnt spoon was also found under the bed where Peaches was found dead together with cotton wool, and other burnt spoons were located throughout her house (pictured)
Discovery: A burnt spoon was also found under the bed where Peaches was found dead together with cotton wool, and other burnt spoons were located throughout her house (pictured)
Find: Police investigating Ms Geldof's overdose death found an array of drugs paraphernalia at her home, including burnt spoons, 79 syringes and hundreds of pounds worth of 'importation quality' heroin
Find: Police investigating Ms Geldof's overdose death found an array of drugs paraphernalia at her home, including burnt spoons, 79 syringes and hundreds of pounds worth of 'importation quality' heroin




The journalist, model and television presenter was slumped on the bed in the room the couple used when their children were sleeping, with one leg hanging down to the floor and the other tucked underneath her.

The musician confirmed that he had gone to stay with his parents in south east London with Astala and Phaedra, and that everything had seemed normal when he spoke to Ms Geldof on several occasions over the weekend.
The inquest heard that Mr Cohen's father, Keith, had seen Ms Geldof when he dropped the younger child home to her and she appeared fine, and Mr Cohen said he had last spoken to his wife at 5.40pm on Sunday April 6.
After failing to get hold of his wife the next morning, Mr Cohen and his mother returned to the property with Astala and found Ms Geldof's body.
The model had been having weekly drugs tests which she had told her husband were negative.
However, even though he had not seen her take drugs, Mr Cohen became concerned that she might be, the inquest was told. 
Giving evidence, musician Mr Cohen, 25, (pictured leaving the inquest) said he had suspected that his wife was using drugs again
Giving evidence, musician Mr Cohen, 25, (pictured leaving the inquest) said he had suspected that his wife was using drugs again

Evidence: Mr Cohen, pictured leaving the hearing, said the model had told him that her weekly drugs tests were coming back negative, but he now thought she may have been lying about the resultsTom Cohen pictured leaving the hearing in Gravesend
Evidence: Mr Cohen, pictured leaving the hearing, said the model had told him that her weekly drugs tests were coming back negative, but he now thought she may have been lying about the results


PEACHES GELDOF INQUEST: WHAT DID POLICE FIND AT HER HOME?

34 medical syringes - some with needles, some without. Some contained traces of brown residue
One capped syringe was in a cardboard sweet box
45 packaged and sealed syringes, alcohol wipes and cotton buds
Three pairs of black knotted tights
A burnt spoon under the bed, and other burnt spoons throughout the house
A quantity of brown powder hidden inside a cupboard over a bedroom door
The brown powder was found to be 6.91g of heroin with a purity of 61%, making it 'importation quality' and worth between £350 and £550 
Asked if he thought now that she may have been lying about the results, Mr Cohen, who gave evidence dressed smartly in a white shirt and black waistcoat, replied: 'Yes'.
North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch put to Mr Cohen that Ms Geldof had been finding it difficult to come off methadone although she was reducing the dosage because she did not want to take it any more.
Asked by Mr Hatch, whether Ms Geldof had been a heroin addict, a composed Mr Cohen answered: 'Yes'.
Mr Cohen had spoken to his wife about her drugs use, and she had retrieved heroin from the loft in February this year and flushed it down the toilet, the inquest was told.
Following this, Mr Cohen would check the loft for drugs himself but found nothing, Mr Hatch said.
But Mr Cohen became aware from police inquiries following her death that drugs had been found in the house by officers trying to establish how she died.
A post-mortem examination carried out at Darent Valley Hospital found a puncture mark on the front of her right elbow and another at the front of her right thigh.
Old puncture marks were also found on her left thigh, the inquest was told.
Police investigating Ms Geldof's death found 'importation quality' heroin stashed in a black cloth bag inside a cupboard over a bedroom door and drugs paraphernalia in the property, the inquest heard.
A capped syringe was also found hidden inside a box of sweets found by her body.
Forensic scientist Dr Peter Cain analysed the brown powder found by investigators and concluded that it was 6.91 grams of heroin with a purity of 61per cent.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, told the inquest that the drugs would have been worth £350 to £550.
No cause for concern: The musician confirmed that he had gone to stay with his parents in south east London with the couple's two sons on the weekend of her death and that his wife seemed fine when he spoke to her
No cause for concern: The musician confirmed that he had gone to stay with his parents in south east London with the couple's two sons on the weekend of her death and that his wife seemed fine when he spoke to her


Differences: Mr Hatch said that Ms Geldof had attempted to get clean, making her different from her mother Paula Yates - who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2000. Ms Geldof posted this picture of the pair in the hours before her death
Differences: Mr Hatch said that Ms Geldof had attempted to get clean, making her different from her mother Paula Yates - who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2000. Ms Geldof posted this picture of the pair in the hours before her death

The officer said that it 'far exceeded' the 26per cent purity usually found at street level.
Mr Fotheringham said: 'The black bag also contained 34 medical syringes, some were with needles and some without, some were sealed in original packaging and some contained traces of a brown coloured residue.
'There were also 45 packaged and sealed syringes, alcohol wipes and cotton buds.'
Police also found a pair of knotted black tights under Peaches' body and two other pairs of tights with knots in them elsewhere in the property.
A burnt spoon was also found under the bed where Peaches was found dead together with cotton wool, and other burnt spoons were located throughout the house.
'Also on the bed was a small clear coloured cap thought to have come from a syringe,' said Mr Fotheringham.
'Underneath the bed a dessert spoon was located with visible burn marks on the underside and a small amount of brown reside on the upper side.
'Next to the bed and within reaching distance was an open brown cardboard box containing sweets. A capped syringe was located in the box, it was noted that there was a small amount of brown fluid left in the main chamber and another small amount of residue inside the cap.'
Investigation: Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, told the inquest that drugs found at Ms Geldof's home would have been worth £350 to £550
Investigation: Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, told the inquest that drugs found at Ms Geldof's home would have been worth £350 to £550

Mr Fotheringham told the inquest that forensic scientist Emma Harris found a high level of morphine in Ms Geldof's blood, suggesting she died 'shortly after taking heroin' and that it was 'likely' that the substance played a role in her death.
In her report, Dr Harris said: 'Persons taking heroin on a regular basis develop a tolerance to the drug, and such individuals can use doses that would be toxic, or fatal, to people with no tolerance.
'However, tolerance to heroin and other opiate drugs appears to be lost fairly rapidly when users cease to use the drug, and deaths commonly occur in people who have previously been tolerant and have returned to using heroin.'
After hearing the evidence, Mr Hatch concluded that Ms Geldof's death was drugs-related and that heroin had played a part in her death.
He said that although she had struggled to come off methadone because of her addiction to heroin, by November 2013 Ms Geldof was found to be free of heroin and reducing her methadone.
But a message found on her phone by Mr Cohen in February this year which indicated she was using drugs again, he told the hearing.
He said that drugs paraphernalia found in her home made it clear that she was taking heroin, but that her tolerance levels had declined.
'A person with heroin addiction after reducing the amount they take, as it is apparent with Peaches by November 2013, but subsequently resumes taking heroin, the problem is that the tolerance that builds up results in an individual to use doses that are toxic or fatal to people,' he said in his summing up of the inquest.

'However that tolerance appears to be lost following rehabilitation and it is common that deaths occur in people who have been previously taking and returned to using doses that are what they were used to.'
Mr Hatch said that Ms Geldof had attempted to get clean, making her different from her mother , TV presenter and writer Paula Yates - who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2000.
He continued:'It's said that the death of Peaches Geldof-Cohen is history repeating itself but this is not entirely so.
'By November last year she had ceased to take heroin as a result of the considerable treatment and counselling that she had received.
'This was a significant achievement for her but, for reasons we will never know, prior to her death she returned to taking heroin, with the fatal consequences that we have heard here today.
'I therefore find that the death of Peaches Geldof was drug-related and I express my sympathy to her family.'
A police investigation into who supplied her with the drugs is on-going but as yet, no arrests have been made.
Ms Geldof had posted a childhood photograph of herself with her mother on her Instagram account the evening before she was found dead.
Saying goodbye: Ms Geldof's funeral took place took place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she had married Mr Cohen in 2012
Saying goodbye: Ms Geldof's funeral took place took place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she had married Mr Cohen in 2012

Grief: In an interview with Lorraine Kelly, Peaches's father Bob Geldof said he would sometimes 'buckle' when he thought of his loss
Grief: In an interview with Lorraine Kelly, Peaches's father Bob Geldof said he would sometimes 'buckle' when he thought of his loss



TIMELINE OF TRAGEDY: THE EVENTS LEADING TO PEACHES GELDOF'S DEATH

Thursday April 3 Thomas Cohen takes the couple's two children, Astala, two, and Phaedra, one, to stay for the weekend at his parent's house in south east London.
Friday April 4 Ms Geldof goes out for a meal in London during the evening with two close friends. She and one of the friends then go to the cinema before returning to her friend's house in Hampstead where Ms Geldof stays overnight.
Saturday April 5 Ms Geldof goes shopping before returning to Kent by train, arriving back at Sevenoaks train station at 1.13pm. She takes a taxi back to her home address.
During the afternoon and early evening she watches television including the TV show True Detective and maintains phone contact with friends and family. There is no concern for her welfare.
Sunday April 6 At home alone, she continues to maintain phone contact and attempts to arrange a day out with family members which is cancelled due to poor weather.
5pm Mr Cohen's father Keith Cohen takes the youngest child Phaedra back to Wrotham and spends about half an hour with Ms Geldof before leaving the child with her. The inquest hears there is nothing about her mood or behaviour that concerns him.
6.17pm Ms Geldof posts a picture of herself as a child with her mother Paula Yates on to the social media website Instagram with the comment 'me and my mum'.
There are also messages from Ms Geldof to friends indicating that she has been bathing her son Phaedra.
6.50pm Ms Geldof sends a message about the children to her mother-in-law Susan.
7.01pm Ms Geldof sends a message to a friend asking them to call her.
7.14pm Ms Geldof uses her laptop to look for The Dog Whisperer television show on YouTube.
7.45pm Ms Geldof has a 12 minute, 10 second phone conversation with the friend she had sent a message to at 7.01pm. This is the last known contact with her.

9.48pm Mr Cohen makes an attempt to call his wife but receives no response. Nobody has any concern for her welfare.
Monday April 7 Mr Cohen makes repeated efforts to contact his wife but has no success.
A neighbour and a local dog warden visit Ms Geldof's home address but receive no answer to knocks at the front door.
1.30pm Mr Cohen, his mother Sue Cohen and Astala return home to the family home in Wrotham and the musician finds his wife on the edge of the bed and slumped forward in a spare bedroom. It is obvious to him that she is dead, the inquest is told.

1.35pm Mr Cohen calls his mother who rings the emergency services and relays information from her son that he believes his wife has taken a heroin overdose. Mr Cohen finds his son Phaedra.
1.55pm The police and paramedics arrive and attend to Ms Geldof, confirming 'life extinct'.
Ms Geldof's body is removed from the property later that evening and taken to Darent Valley Hospital where she is identified by her father Bob Geldof.

April 21 Ms Geldof's funeral takes place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she married Mr Cohen in 2012.
It is also where her mother married Mr Geldof in 1986 and where Ms Yates's funeral service was held.
May 1 An inquest hearing into Ms Geldof's death, lasting 10 minutes, is opened and adjourned.
July 23 A full inquest hearing in Gravesend, Kent, concludes that Ms Geldof's death was drug-related.
Her funeral took place took place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she had married Mr Cohen in 2012.
It was also where her mother married Mr Geldof in 1986 and where Ms Yates’ funeral service was held.
Mr Geldof is thought to have led tributes to his daughter in front of a host of well-known personalities, including the Duchess of York, supermodel Kate Moss and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.
The former Boomtown Rats singer has since spoken of the 'intolerable' pain he feels following his daughter’s death.
In an interview with ITV’s Lorraine Kelly, he said he would sometimes 'buckle' when he thought of his loss out of the blue and that it was 'still very raw'.
Ms Geldof had been a regular on the London society scene, but gave up her partying lifestyle after becoming a mother.
At the time of her death she was a columnist for Mother & Baby magazine. In her last piece, under the headline 'Being a mum is the best thing in my life', she wrote she was 'happier than ever'.

DM

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