Sunday 18 February 2018

Needles hidden around idyllic home told a tale of Peaches' lost battle

Peaches Geldof
Peaches Geldof
Peaches Geldof. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Musician Thomas Cohen leaves after attending the inquest into the death of his wife Peaches Geldof, in Gravesend, southern England July 23, 2014.
Thomas Cohen departs after attending the inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof on July 23, 2014 in Gravesend, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Thomas Cohen departs after attending the inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof on July 23, 2014 in Gravesend, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
The late Peaches Geldof with her husband Thomas Cohen
Peaches with her husband Thomas Cohen and their baby son Astala.
Bob Geldof has spoken about the death of daughter Peaches, and said his family life has played out like a soap opera

Alex Diaz and Louise Hogan

Peaches Geldof was discovered dead from a heroin overdose with a syringe in a sweet box on the floor and a stash of drugs, burnt spoons and needles throughout her countryside family home.

The 25-year-old model, television presenter and journalist was an addict who had been taking the substitute drug methadone in the two-and-a-half years before she died.

The daughter of Dublin born Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates was found dead in April in the spare bedroom of her home in Kent, with her 11-month-old son Phaedra close by in another room.

Having apparently beaten her heroin addiction several months previously, by February this year she had begun using drugs again.

For a woman whose short life had been publicly played out on Twitter and in the pages of celebrity magazines, her final weekend was remarkable only for its mundanity.

After coming home alone from shopping in London, she watched the US drama 'True Detective' and called her friends. Plans to go out the next day with members of her family were scuppered because of the bad weather.

But when her father-in-law later dropped off her one-year-old son, Phaedra, that Sunday afternoon in April to her house in Kent, nothing appeared to be amiss.

Yet at some point that evening it appears that Ms Geldof went to a black cloth bag hidden inside a cupboard in which she had secretly stored nearly seven grams of unusually pure heroin.

She injected herself with a fatal dose with her youngest son in the room next door.

The syringe filled with the residue of that fatal dose was found in a box filled with sweets by the side of her bed in a spare room, the inquest into the death of the 25-year-old was told yesterday.

In places around the four-bedroom house, police officers later found nearly 80 syringes – some used – and spoons that had been used in the preparation of drugs.

Her mother Paula Yates had died of a heroin overdose in 2000 and the inquest in Gravesend heard yesterday that Peaches had posted a picture of the two of them together online at 6.17pm – with the comment "me and my mum". This was one hour and 40 minutes before her last known conversation.

Despite comparisons between the pair, Peaches had seemingly shaken off her wild child image in recent years. She cultivated the image of a model mother, speaking passionately about "attachment parenting" and co-sleeping with her young children.

Peaches had spoken about her drug abuse previously, but had described it as youthful experimentation. "It made me feel sick. I wasn't hugely into drugs, and I'm sober now. I'm not Amy Winehouse. I never have been. I wasn't a crackhead," she had said.


But yesterday her musician husband Thomas Cohen (24) described witnessing Peaches flushing drugs she had hidden in the loft down a toilet after he tackled her about drug use.

The picture of an addict's struggle to come off heroin, with weekly drug tests, was in stark contrast to the image the public saw of a happy young mother.

The glamourous young mother's social media accounts attracted tens of thousands of followers who saw her upload pictures of their two sons Astala Dylan Willow (2) and one-year-old Phaedra Bloom Forever, relaxing on the couch or smiling with sticky toddler fingers and messy faces in their sunlit backyard.

She was discovered wearing a grey dress, slumped on a bed in a spare room of their family home on April 7 by her husband, after she failed to answer the phone.

Underneath her body was an Apple iPhone, a packet of cigarettes and a pair of black tights with a knot in them, and under the bed there was a burnt dessert spoon with residues of heroin.

Her 11-month son Phaedra, who was found in another room, may have been alone with her body for up to 17 hours in the house, the coroner's court heard.

Her body was formally identified by her father, who has spoken of the "intolerable" pain he continues to feel over her death.

Police investigating her death discovered 6.9g of "importation quality" heroin stashed in a black cloth bag inside a cupboard over a bedroom door, with a purity of 61pc, worth between €440 to €700, the inquest heard.

The overdose was 10 times bigger than that which killed her mother.

Officers also found drugs paraphernalia around the home.

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said Ms Geldof's death had been "drugs-related" and heroin had played a part.

Mr Hatch said: "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."

Irish Independent

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