PEACHES GELDOF succumbed to a heroin overdose in a starkly poignant reminder of the death of her own mother, Paula Yates, after she had battled with addiction to the Class A drug, an inquest heard.
The 25-year-old journalist, model and television presenter had been taking the substitute drug methadone in the two and a half years before she died.
But the mother-of-two and daughter of musician Bob Geldof had started using heroin again by February this year, her musician husband Tom Cohen told the inquest in Gravesend in Kent yesterday.
Mr Cohen found her slumped on a bed in a spare room at their family home in Wrotham in Kent on April 7 this year.
Police later found 6.9g (0.24oz) of “importation quality” heroin stashed in a black cloth bag inside a cupboard over a bedroom door with a purity of 61 per cent, worth between £350 and £550. The heroin found at the property “far exceeded” the 26 per cent purity usually found at street level, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham told the hearing.
Officers also discovered a syringe containing residue of heroin inside a sweet box next to the bed, and other drug paraphernalia including burnt spoons, syringes and knotted tights throughout the property.
North-West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said Ms Geldof’s death had been “drugs-related” and heroin had played a part.
He told the hearing that, although she had struggled to come off methadone, by November 2013 she was found to be free of heroin and reducing her methadone.
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. I therefore find that the death of Peaches Geldof was drug-related and I express my sympathy to her family.”
Mr Cohen told the inquest he had gone to stay with his parents in London with the couple’s two sons, Astala, two, and one-year-old Phaedra, in the days leading up to his wife’s death.
She had appeared fine when he spoke to her on several occasions over the weekend, he told the hearing. His father, Keith, had seen Ms Geldof when he dropped the younger child home to her and did not notice anything amiss.
Mr Cohen said he had last spoken to his wife on April 6 but, after failing to get hold of her the next day, he and his mother returned to the property with Astala and found Ms Geldof’s body.
The model had been having weekly drugs tests which she told her husband were negative, but he became concerned that she might be taking heroin again.
Mr Cohen told the inquest he had found a message on Ms Geldof’s phone in February suggesting she had returned to heroin use. Later he witnessed how she retrieved drugs she had hidden in the loft of their home and flushed them down the toilet.
Ms Geldof’s funeral took place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she had married Mr Cohen in 2012, and was attended by personalities including the Duchess of York, supermodel Kate Moss and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. It was also where her mother married Mr Geldof in 1986 and where Ms Yates’ funeral service was held.