Sunday 18 November 2018

Andrea fills in the gaps over Katy's final hours

Model Andrea Roche has confirmed she helped gardai pinpoint the last movements of her friend Katy French in the hours before she collapsed.

Ms Roche, a close friend of the young model who will be buried today in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, has helped detectives paint a picture of Ms French's demeanour and location on the day before her admission to Navan hospital in a critical condition.

Ms Roche said she had refused to speak publicly over the past few days about Ms French out of respect for her friend and her family.

The former Miss Ireland said she spent a Saturday afternoon with Ms French in the Dundrum Shopping Centre working on a pilot TV programme about modelling.

Ms Roche said she went voluntarily to the gardai to tell them about her Saturday afternoon with Ms French at the request of the model's father, John.

That Saturday night was spent with husband PJ Mansfield and his family at a Fianna Fail dinner in Clontarf Castle Hotel, Ms Roche said.

Movements

Ms French's father had contacted her and told her gardai were trying to piece together a picture of her movements and state of mind.

Detectives will continue their interviews following Ms French's burial today.

"We spent the Saturday afternoon in the Dundrum shopping centre working on a pilot television programme about modelling. We were to be joint presenters," said Ms Roche.

"Katy was in great form and was very optimistic about a couple of TV shows that were in the pipeline."

Around 6pm on the Saturday, Ms French and Ms Roche parted company.

"She said she was going home for dinner with her mother. That was the last time I spoke to her. The next time I saw her she was in a coma in hospital."

After her life-support machine was turned off following a five-day battle, the preliminary results of a post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered brain damage.

Medical tests on the model had found traces of cocaine but only separate toxicology results will show if the drug or a mix of substances caused her death.

Ms French, who had spoken out publicly about using cocaine in her younger years, had also discussed her past drug-taking with her friend.

However, Ms Roche said that for as long as she had known Ms French she had never seen her taking drugs.

Collapsed

The model said she knew of, but was not friends with Kieron 'Wolf' Ducie, at whose Co Meath home Ms French collapsed.

Ms French will be laid to rest in Powerscourt Parish, in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, near the home where she grew up.

Hundreds of her extended family, friends and colleagues from the modelling business are expected to attend the service in St Patrick's Church in Powerscourt parish at 2pm.

She will be buried immediately afterwards in the adjoining Churchyard.

Ms French's family, including her father John, mother Janet, and sister Jill, have urged people to attend the funeral dressed colourfully.

"Katy had a great fashion sense and was full of joy. She would like that to be reflected at her funeral," Ms Roche said.

Her family have asked people to make a donation, if desired, rather than bringing flowers, to the charity GOAL for the street children of Calcutta which Ms French had travelled to India with earlier this year.

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