Peaches Geldof's baby son alone with her body for up to 17 HOURS (2023)

Peaches' heroin overdose was 10 times bigger than the one that killed her mother Paula: Baby son was alone with the body for 17 hours, inquest is told

  • 25-year-old found dead on a bed at her home in Wrotham, Kent, in April
  • Her body was found in spare bedroom by her musician husband Tom Cohen
  • Tests revealed the mother-of-two had taken heroin before her death
  • Inquest in Gravesend told drugs worth up to £550 were found in the house
  • A capped syringe was also found in a box of sweets close to Geldof's body
  • 'Importation quality' heroin stashed in a black cloth bag inside a cupboard
  • 6.91g of heroin had a purity of 61%, exceeding 26% found at street level
  • Mr Cohen had found text messages suggesting wife was using drugs again
  • He also saw her flushing hidden drugs down the toilet, inquest told
  • Ms Geldof's was trying to get clean, making her different from mother Paula Yates, coroner tells hearing
  • Coroner says he must record verdict that death was drug related

By Lucy Crossley and Claire Ellicott for the Daily Mail and Chris Greenwood for the Daily Mail

Published: | Updated:

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Overdose: Peaches Geldof's body was found by her husband Thomas Cohen (right) after she died from a heroin overdose, an inquest heard today

Peaches Geldof died of a drugs overdose ten times bigger than the one that killed her mother Paula Yates.

Stashes of heroin, burned spoons and almost 80 syringes were scattered around the 25-year-old’s country home, an inquest heard yesterday.

Her husband returned from a weekend away to find her slumped dead on a bed, covered in needle puncture marks. She had been looking after their baby son Phaedra, who was left alone for up to 17 hours.

A used syringe was in a sweet box next to her body and a pair of knotted tights had apparently been used as a tourniquet, the hearing in Gravesend, Kent, heard.

The coroner said the sometime television presenter, model and journalist had been trying to wean herself off drugs and was clean five months before her death.

But her husband Thomas Cohen, a 23-year-old musician, told the hearing she relapsed in February and was hiding heroin in the loft of their £1million home in Wroxham, Kent.

Although the heroin she had taken could not be tested for purity because there was not enough left in the syringe, other supplies in the house were 61 per cent pure – ‘importation quality’ and more than twice as pure as street-level product.

Mr Cohen had been rehearsing on the weekend of her death. He had dropped off their two sons – Astala, two, and Phaedra, one – with his parents in south-east London, leaving his wife of two years behind.

The following night, Miss Geldof had dinner in London, staying at a friend’s house in Hampstead.

Phaedra was returned to her by Mr Cohen’s father Keith on Saturday afternoon and she stayed in that evening watching TV.

On Sunday night, just a few hours before her death, she posted a picture of herself and her mother on the social networking site Instagram, adding the caption: ‘Me and my mum.’ Miss Yates died of a heroin overdose at the age of 41 when her daughter was 11.

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Differences: Mr Hatch said that Ms Geldof had attempted to get clean, making her different from her mother Paula Yates - who died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2000. Ms Geldof posted this picture of the pair in the hours before her death

Family: Peaches Geldof's youngest son Phaedra (pictured left with his father and brother Astala) was alone in the house with his mother's body for up to 15 hours

Discovery: A burnt spoon was also found under the bed where Peaches was found dead together with cotton wool, and other burnt spoons were located throughout her house (pictured)

Find: Police investigating Ms Geldof's overdose death found an array of drugs paraphernalia at her home, including burnt spoons, 79 syringes and hundreds of pounds worth of 'importation quality' heroin

A few hours after sending out the picture, Miss Geldof sent messages to friends about bathing Phaedra.

She spoke to a friend on the phone at 8pm but did not answer a call at 10pm and it is thought that she died around this time.


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At 1.30pm the following day, her husband returned home with Astala and his mother Sue. Old needle puncture marks, as well as new, were found on his wife’s body, the inquest was told.

Her father, Bob Geldof, later identified her body. He was not present at yesterday’s hearing.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, told the inquest: ‘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.’


Peaches Geldof’s husband watched her flush down the toilet heroin she had hidden in the loft.

The mother of two had struggled with addiction for almost three years and had been taking the heroin substitute methadone and having counselling. In November 2013, a drugs test showed her to be clean and her husband, Thomas Cohen, believed she had defeated the habit.

But in February he found messages on her phone that suggested she was using again. When he confronted her about it, she retrieved her stash from the loft and flushed it down the toilet to show she was serious about giving up. She failed to break the habit, however.

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch said: ‘Things were improving in November 2013. She was coming off codeine and was reducing her methadone.’

He also asked Mr Cohen to confirm that he had searched the loft ‘on occasion’ and found no evidence of drugs.

Giving evidence, musician Mr Cohen, 25, (pictured leaving the inquest) said he had suspected that his wife was using drugs again

Evidence: Mr Cohen, pictured leaving the hearing, said the model had told him that her weekly drugs tests were coming back negative, but he now thought she may have been lying about the results


34 medical syringes - some with needles, some without. Some contained traces of brown residue

One capped syringe was in a cardboard sweet box

45 packaged and sealed syringes, alcohol wipes and cotton buds

Three pairs of black knotted tights

A burnt spoon under the bed, and other burnt spoons throughout the house

A quantity of brown powder hidden inside a cupboard over a bedroom door

The brown powder was found to be 6.91g of heroin with a purity of 61%, making it 'importation quality' and worth between £350 and £550

She had 3mg per litre of diamorphine, the chemical name for heroin, in her blood.Her mother had 0.3mg when she died.

In a report, forensic scientist Emma Harris said: ‘Persons taking heroin on a regular basis develop a tolerance to the drug, and such individuals can use doses that would be toxic, or fatal, to people with no tolerance.

‘However, tolerance to heroin and other opiate drugs appears to be lost fairly rapidly when users cease to use the drug, and deaths commonly occur in people who have previously been tolerant and have returned to using heroin.’

North West Kent Coroner Roger Hatch concluded the death was drugs-related.

He said it was not quite true that the death was history repeating itself because Miss Geldof had tried to break her addiction and had returned to the drug for reasons no one would ever know.

Miss Geldof’s husband made no statement as he left the hearing.

No cause for concern: The musician confirmed that he had gone to stay with his parents in south east London with the couple's two sons on the weekend of her death and that his wife seemed fine when he spoke to her

Almost 80 syringes, burned spoons yet police said death was 'unexplained'

Police faced questions last night over why they insisted the death of Peaches Geldof was ‘unexplained’, despite the overwhelming mass of evidence they faced.

Officers discovered stashes of heroin, almost 80 syringes and burned spoons in the 25-year-old’s home.

Her body was found slumped on a bed, covered in needle puncture marks.

DCI Paul Fotheringham, who led the investigation, at yesterday's inquest

Yet, Kent Police spent weeks hiding behind statements in which they said officers were investigating an ‘unexplained sudden death’.

They repeatedly refused to comment on whether suspicious substances or evidence had been found at her property, or even where Peaches died and who was with her at the time.

It was almost four weeks later, amid an explosion of speculation in the media and on social networking sites, that they finally admitted officers ‘did seize drugs paraphernalia’.

This revelation appeared designed to protect her husband, as it came alongside a firm denial that he could face questioning or even arrest for drugs offences. Kent Police said the media blackout was justified because their sole duty was to the coroner, once it had been established there was no foul play.

But suspicions remain that Lord Justice Leveson continues to cast a long shadow, encouraging police forces to be more secretive than ever. His Press standards inquiry has called for a clampdown on police/media relations, with records of meetings and tighter curbs on briefings.

But the Leveson inquiry completely ignored the value of keeping the public informed of the actions of police as they investigate often controversial events as servants of the Crown.

Yesterday Kent Police defended officers’ actions, insisting a ‘thorough and professional investigation’ was always going to be the first priority.

A spokesman said: ‘It was important throughout that the integrity and professionalism of the investigation remained intact.

‘We had a duty of care to Miss Geldof’s family and it would be irresponsible to prematurely release details which may have led to further speculation without having established the full circumstances surrounding the death.’

Saying goodbye: Ms Geldof's funeral took place took place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she had married Mr Cohen in 2012

Grief: In an interview with Lorraine Kelly, Peaches's father Bob Geldof said he would sometimes 'buckle' when he thought of his loss


Thursday April 3 Thomas Cohen takes the couple's two children, Astala, two, and Phaedra, one, to stay for the weekend at his parent's house in south east London.

Friday April 4 Ms Geldof goes out for a meal in London during the evening with two close friends. She and one of the friends then go to the cinema before returning to her friend's house in Hampstead where Ms Geldof stays overnight.

Saturday April 5 Ms Geldof goes shopping before returning to Kent by train, arriving back at Sevenoaks train station at 1.13pm. She takes a taxi back to her home address.

During the afternoon and early evening she watches television including the TV show True Detective and maintains phone contact with friends and family. There is no concern for her welfare.

Sunday April 6 At home alone, she continues to maintain phone contact and attempts to arrange a day out with family members which is cancelled due to poor weather.

5pm Mr Cohen's father Keith Cohen takes the youngest child Phaedra back to Wrotham and spends about half an hour with Ms Geldof before leaving the child with her. The inquest hears there is nothing about her mood or behaviour that concerns him.

6.17pm Ms Geldof posts a picture of herself as a child with her mother Paula Yates on to the social media website Instagram with the comment 'me and my mum'.

There are also messages from Ms Geldof to friends indicating that she has been bathing her son Phaedra.

6.50pm Ms Geldof sends a message about the children to her mother-in-law Susan.

7.01pm Ms Geldof sends a message to a friend asking them to call her.

7.14pm Ms Geldof uses her laptop to look for The Dog Whisperer television show on YouTube.

7.45pm Ms Geldof has a 12 minute, 10 second phone conversation with the friend she had sent a message to at 7.01pm. This is the last known contact with her.

9.48pm Mr Cohen makes an attempt to call his wife but receives no response. Nobody has any concern for her welfare.

Monday April 7 Mr Cohen makes repeated efforts to contact his wife but has no success.

A neighbour and a local dog warden visit Ms Geldof's home address but receive no answer to knocks at the front door.

1.30pm Mr Cohen, his mother Sue Cohen and Astala return home to the family home in Wrotham and the musician finds his wife on the edge of the bed and slumped forward in a spare bedroom. It is obvious to him that she is dead, the inquest is told.

1.35pm Mr Cohen calls his mother who rings the emergency services and relays information from her son that he believes his wife has taken a heroin overdose. Mr Cohen finds his son Phaedra.

1.55pm The police and paramedics arrive and attend to Ms Geldof, confirming 'life extinct'.

Ms Geldof's body is removed from the property later that evening and taken to Darent Valley Hospital where she is identified by her father Bob Geldof.

April 21 Ms Geldof's funeral takes place at St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence Church in Davington, near Faversham, where she married Mr Cohen in 2012.
It is also where her mother married Mr Geldof in 1986 and where Ms Yates's funeral service was held.

May 1 An inquest hearing into Ms Geldof's death, lasting 10 minutes, is opened and adjourned.

July 23 A full inquest hearing in Gravesend, Kent, concludes that Ms Geldof's death was drug-related.

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