Heroin use killed Peaches Geldof, coroner concludes

Peaches Geldof had been a heroin addict and had been taking the substitute drug methadone in the two and a half years before her death, an inquest in Gravesend has heard.

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Coroner rules Peaches died of heroin overdose

Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose after losing her battle against addiction to the Class A drug, an inquest heard today.

ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar reports:


Peaches' death 'not entirely' history repeating itself

The death of Peaches Geldof was "not entirely" a case of history repeating itself, the coroner has told an inquest.

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said: "By November last year she had ceased to take heroin as a result of the considerable treatment and counselling that she had received.

Peaches Geldof pictured with her mother Paula Yates in 1993. Credit: Robin Kennedy/EMPICS Entertainment

"This was a significant achievement for her, but for reasons we will never know prior to her death she returned to taking heroin."

Ms Geldof's mother, Paula Yates, died from an accidental heroin overdose in 2000 at the age of 41.

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Peaches inquest: Drug equipment found next to body

The initial assessment of the scene found that Peaches had taken heroin and collapsed and died on the bed.

Detailed searches of the whole premises took place and located heroin and various items used for the preparation and consumption of heroin.

Next to the bed was a box containing a capped syringe with a small amount of a brown fluid left in the main chamber and some residue/fluid inside the cap - which forensics have found to contain traces of heroin.

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”

– Dr Harris

Police found 79 syringes at Peaches Geldof's home

Police found 79 syringes hidden inside a black cloth bag with "importation quality" heroin at Peaches Geldof's home, an inquest has heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation into Ms Geldof's death, 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.

Peaches Geldof died at her family home in Wroxham, Kent. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"There were also 45 packaged and sealed syringes, alcohol wipes and cotton buds."

Police also found a pair of knotted black tights under Ms Geldof's body and two other pairs of tights with knots in them elsewhere in the property, likely to have been used while she took the drug.

Peaches' heroin 'was more than double normal purity'

Police investigating the death of Peaches Geldof found "importation quality" heroin hidden in her home that was more than double the normal level of purity.

Forensic scientist Dr Peter Cain analysed the brown powder found and concluded that it was 6.91 grams of heroin with a purity of 61%.

The coroner ruled Peaches Geldof's death was drug related. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, told the inquest that the drugs would have been worth £350 to £550.

The officer said that it "far exceeded" the 26% purity usually found at street level.


Peaches 'was having weekly drugs tests' before death

Peaches Geldof was having weekly drugs tests which she had told her husband were negative but he became concerned that she might be, an inquest was told.

The coroner concluded Peaches Geldof's death was drug related. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said 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.

ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar reports:

Evidence suggests high purity heroin killed Peaches

Peaches Geldof died after taking high purity heroin when her body had lost its tolerance to the drug, an inquest has heard.

ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar reports from the hearing:

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