Gravesend inquest reveals the full of extent of Peaches Geldof's heroin addiction
PUBLISHED: 13:50 23 July 2014 | UPDATED: 13:50 23 July 2014
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An inquest held into the death of Peaches Geldof heard that the TV presenter, model and journalist had been a heroin addict and detailed her tragic final moments.
Peaches’ musician husband Thomas Cohen, the father of her two children Phaedra and Astala, remained composed as he spoke of his wife’s addiction at Gravesend Old Town Hall today.
He told the court that Peaches had been on a two and a half year drug treatment programme which involved taking methadone and had been free of heroin from November 2013 until February of this year.
In February he found suspicious messages on her phone which suggested that she had started using heroin again.
After he confronted her, she produced drugs which she had hidden in the loft of their Wrotham home, which he witnessed her disposing of down the toilet.
He was not aware of any other drugs being in the house besides those.
He explained that the 25-year-old had been having regular drug tests as part of her treatment, which she had told him were clear, but he now believes that she had been lying about the results.
Thomas was staying at his parents’ home due to work commitments at the time of the star’s death.
He last spoke to his wife at 5.40pm on April 6, and said that she was coherent and nothing about her mood or behaviour had given him cause for concern regarding her welfare.
His father, Keith Cohen, had taken Phaedra back to the house the same evening and said that Peaches seemed “in good spirits”, telling him that she had booked a trip to a theme park and had been writing an article.
It was only when Thomas was unable to reach Peaches the next day that he became worried, and he returned home with his mother Sue Cohen and son Astala on April 7.
“I found her in the spare bedroom. We both used it when the kids were sleeping,” Thomas said.
After he found Peaches on the edge of the bed and alerted his mother, she called emergency services just after 1.30pm, and Thomas quickly located his other son Phaedra.
Pathologist Dr Peter Jerreat said that evidence of codeine, methadone and morphine had been found in Peaches’ blood, and that heroin levels had been at a “fatal range”.
There were also puncture wounds found on her thumbs and arms.
It is commonly acknowledged that a person’s tolerance to a drug will rapidly decrease once they have ceased taking it on a regular basis, and when they resume taking it it can have fatal consequences.
North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said: “This appears to have occurred in this unfortunate case.”
6.91 grams of heroin was found in a black cloth bag, with a purity of 61 per cent, hugely exceeding the average 26 per cent found at street level, which was estimated to be worth between £350 to £550.
The bag also contained 34 medical syringes, some with needles and some without, 45 packaged and sealed syringes, alchohol wipes, cotton buds, and two cards advertising the Westminster needle exchange.
47.5 grams of citric acid, usually mixed with heroin to make it more soluble, was also discovered in the same bag.
An Apple iPhone, packet of cigarettes and a pair of black tights with a knot tied into them- possibly used as a tourniquet, were found underneath Peaches’ body and a small clear coloured cap thought to be from a syringe was located nearby.
A dessert spoon with visible burn marks on the underside and brown residue on the upper side was located underneath the bed.
Det Chief Insp Paul Fotheringam said: “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.”
The residue was tested by forensic scientists who confirmed that it contained traces of diamorphine, commonly known as heroin, but due to the small amount and chemical changes in the mixture during the “cooking” process they were unable to obtain a reliable purity level and unable to compare it to the unprepared heroin found elsewhere at the property.
There is an ongoing police investigation into who supplied the heroin to Peaches, but no arrests have yet been made.
Mr Fotheringham added: “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.”
Mr Hatch concluded: “I have no alternative other than to record that the death of Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof Cohen was drug related and I express my sympathies to the families.”