Saturday 1 November 2014

Husband found Peaches 'slumped across bed' after she took heroin

Tom Pugh

Published 02/05/2014 | 02:30

Peaches Geldof
Police at Peaches's home in Kent where her body was discovered.
Peaches's father Bob Geldof

The husband of Peaches Geldof found her slumped dead on a bed at their family home after she had recently taken heroin, an inquest has heard.

The 25-year-old had one leg hanging down to the floor and the other tucked underneath her in a spare bedroom in Wrotham, Kent, on April 7.

Ms Geldof had been in the house with her youngest son Phaedra.

At the opening of her inquest in Gravesend, detective chief inspector Paul Fotheringham said recent heroin use "was likely to have played a role" in her death.

It marks a parallel to the death of her mother, TV presenter and writer Paula Yates, who died from an accidental heroin overdose at her London home, aged 41, in 2000. She too was alone with her young child, four-year-old Tiger Lily.

The reports suggest Ms Geldof may have suffered a relapse, after appearing to have swapped the drug use and party lifestyle of her younger years for a settled family life.

At the inquest, Mr Fotheringham described the unsuccessful efforts her husband, musician Tom Cohen, made to contact his wife before he found her body.

Four days before she was discovered, Mr Cohen went with the couple's two sons, Astala (23 months) and 11-month-old Phaedra, to his parents' London home.

Mr Fotheringham said this was a normal arrangement so that he and TV presenter and columnist Ms Geldof could concentrate on their work.

During their time apart, Ms Geldof remained at home in Wrotham and in contact with friends and family, appearing to be her normal self.

Mr Fotheringham said: "On Thursday April 3, 2014, Thomas Cohen went with his two sons to stay for the weekend at his parents' house in south-east London.

"This is a normal occurrence which enables Peaches and Thomas to complete work in their respective careers."

He added: "It is believed that Peaches spent Saturday afternoon (April 5), into the evening, and Sunday morning at her home address alone.

"Throughout this period she maintained telephone contact with family and friends, including contact with Thomas's mother to arrange a family activity, but this was cancelled.

"Peaches maintained contact with family and friends throughout Sunday and at 5pm Thomas's father Keith Cohen took the youngest child, Phaedra, back to Wrotham and spent half an hour with Peaches before leaving the child with her."

Mr Fotheringham said the last contact with Ms Geldof was believed to have been at 7.45pm on the Sunday when she had a telephone conversation with a friend.

He went on: "All of the friends and family who had contact with Peaches during this period described how she seemed her normal self and was making plans for the future, including a family outing for her sons for the following weekend.

"There was no cause for concern."

Mr Cohen tried to contact his wife the following morning without success, Mr Fotheringham added.

He then travelled to the family home in Kent with his mother, Sue, and Astala, arriving at around 1.30pm.

"Thomas entered the property and located Peaches in the spare bedroom," Mr Fotheringham said. It was apparent that she was dead.

"She was located on the edge of the bed with one leg hanging down to the floor and the other leg tucked underneath her. She was slumped across the bed," Mr Fotheringham said.

Mr Cohen called out to his mother and Phaedra was found in the property, and the emergency services were called. Police and paramedics arrived and confirmed she was dead. Kent Police started an investigation but the death was "unexplained with no third party" involvement.

A post-mortem carried out was inconclusive. Further tests confirmed the recent taking of heroin, Mr Fotheringham said. "Recent use of heroin and the levels identified were likely to have played a role in her death," he said.

Mr Hatch adjourned the inquest for a full hearing to take place on July 23.

None of Ms Geldof's family, including her father Bob, were at the hearing, which last around 10 minutes.

At her funeral service in Davington, near Faversham, Ms Geldof's body was carried into church in a poignantly-decorated coffin which included a picture of her young family. Mr Geldof is thought to have led tributes in front of a host of well-known personalities, including supermodel Kate Moss and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.

The church, St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence, was where Ms Geldof married Mr Cohen in 2012. It was also where her mother married Mr Geldof in 1986 and where her funeral was held.

Press Association

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