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Inquest hears how woman took eight times lethal dose of cocaine

A 26-year-old woman from Slough took eight times the lethal dose of cocaine after receiving a £6,000 insurance claim against her an inquest heard.

Eloise Delahunty, of Tamarisk Way was found dead in her home on January 24 this year.

An inquest held at Reading Town Hall today (Wednesday) heard how police were called to Miss Delahunty’s home by her sister, who said she had not turned up to work and was not answering her phone.

PC Christopher Fry looked through the home’s letterbox and saw Miss Delahunty lying unresponsive in the living room, the inquest was told.

Assistant Coroner for Berkshire Ian Wade said PC Fry was unable to kick down the front door so used a crowbar to remove a wooden board covering smashed window.

Paramedics were called to the scene and she was declared dead at 3.45pm, the inquest heard.

A toxicology report read out at the inquest said Miss Delahunty had eight times the lethal dose of cocaine in her system.

Mr Wade said police found a bag of white powder and some small electronic weighing scales in the home.

The inquest heard how on the previous day, Miss Delahunty received a £6,000 car insurance claim against her.

Her parents, who attended the inquest at Reading Town Hall on Wednesday, said they were aware of the accident in question but said Miss Delahunty was not the driver.

Mr Wade said there was no evidence to suggest Miss Delahunty took the cocaine in a deliberate attempt to end her life but said her financial worries may have contributed to her taking drugs.

“Eloise foolishly, very unwisely, decided to take a quantity of cocaine that was more than her system could tolerate,” said the coroner.

“Why she did it, I don’t have the answer to that. She was distressed and overwhelmed probably by the thought that she was being held accountable for a very large sum of money. That was probably a lot for her to take in.”

Expressing his wish for people to realise how dangerous cocaine can be, he said: “I think the lure sometimes unfortunately is irresistible.”

The inquest heard how Miss Delahunty was a very heavy sleeper and experienced ‘heavy pressure on her chest’ while sleeping, which a doctor suggested may have been a sign of a disorder known as sleep apnea.

Evidence given by her GP said that in September 2017, Miss Delahunty said she was hearing voices in her head which sounded like her partner arguing with her, but that she could recognise it was not real.

Mr Wade concluded that the cause of death was due to ‘drug intoxication’.

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