Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham arrives at Gravesend Coroners Court, at the Old Town Hall in Gravesend
GRAVESEND Kent (Reuters) - Heroin probably played a role in the death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, who died in her family home last month while alone with one of her two young sons, police said on Thursday.
A post-mortem examination failed to establish the cause of her death on April 7 but an inquest was told on Thursday that forensic tests found heroin in the 25-year-old's system.
Her death brought back memories of that of her mother, television presenter Paula Yates, who died of a heroin overdose aged 41 in 2000 while alone with her youngest daughter, Tiger Lily, then aged four.
"There was recent use of heroin and the levels identified were likely to have played a role in her death," Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham said in a statement at the opening of the inquest into Geldof's death.
Geldof, a media and fashion personality and the mother of two young boys, was the second of Irish musician and campaigner Bob Geldof and Yates's three daughters.
The inquest heard her body was found by her husband of two years, musician Thomas Cohen, in a spare bedroom of their home in Wrotham, Kent, in southern England in the afternoon of Monday, April 7.
Cohen had been staying the weekend at his parents' house in southeast London with the couple's sons and his father dropped their youngest boy, one-year-old Phaedra, back with Peaches late on Sunday afternoon.
Throughout the weekend she had been in touch with family and friends and her last phone call was with a friend at 7.45 p.m. on Sunday.
"All of the friends and family who had contact with Peaches during this period describe how she seemed her normal self and was making plans for the future ... there was no cause for any concern," Fotheringham said.
But Cohen became concerned when he could not contact his wife the next morning and went to their house with his mother and their other son, two-year-old Astala.
He found Geldof slumped across a bed and police said it was obvious to him that she was dead. He quickly located Phaedra and called the emergency services.
Police who were treating her death as "non-suspicious but unexplained" said there was no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved. The inquest was adjourned until July 23.
Peaches Geldof had been a regular on London's party scene for years but, after becoming a mother, quit the city for country life.
At the time of her death, she was a columnist for Mother & Baby magazine, writing that "being a mum is the best thing in my life" and she was "happier than ever".
Bob Geldof said the loss of Peaches had left him and his family "beyond pain" with celebrities from Britain's television and music worlds joining him at his daughter's funeral on April 21.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Stephen Addison)