Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020

Tragic mum, 31, found dead in bed at ‘drugs den’ home after disturbance

A tragic mum who 'didn't like her drug-fuelled lifestyle' was found half-naked in her bed by paramedics, an inquest has heard.

Thirty-one year-old Natasha Stewart's home in Watkins Street, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, was described as a "drug den" at an inquest.

Another woman was also found overdosed at the same time as her body was discovered surrounded by "drug paraphernalia", but paramedics managed to revive her and she was detained by cops after becoming aggressive.

Police initially treated Miss Stewart's death as suspicious and one officer described finding a "suicide plan" in a bin at the property along with a list of drugs, according to the StokeonTrentLive.

However, North Staffordshire assistant coroner Margaret Jones ruled her death was due to combined drug intoxication caused by drugs and alcohol.

Toxicology tests revealed she had a number of drugs in her system, including cocaine, methadone, heroin and diazepam. It also provided a blood alcohol reading of 175 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 80.

Detective Constable Dave Stubbs said the mum clearly "didn't like the life she was living" but was "hooked into it through the drugs".

He said: "Because it was treated as a suspicious death, a search team went through her address. That uncovered at the bottom of a bin what I would describe as a suicide plan. It wasn't a suicide note."

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He added: "The breakdown of the relationship with her mother and children was a massive factor for her and this plan was made the day before Mother's Day."

Two women and two men, at the property around the time of Miss Stewart's death, were arrested but Det Con Stubbs said they were never able to show who supplied the drugs. All four suspects were released under investigation.

Police still don't know the identity of one other male. The man, who was there before her death, never came forward.

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Det Con Stubbs added: "The second female was completely incoherent and paramedics were trying to reverse the effects of the overdose and, when she came around, she showed some aggression. That female was detained by officers.

"There were clear signs that a disturbance had taken place and a lot of signs of drug abuse. Syringes and other drugs paraphernalia in all the rooms of the property. The property was clearly a mess, I would go as far to say it was a drugs den to some extent."

In a statement, Miss Stewart's mum Tracey Sharpe said she had 'lost touch' with her daughter, who was described as "very bright" and had recently managed to get a job in a local Sainsbury store.

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She described how her daughter had "a number of relationships and had children" but had "lost touch with her completely" for around two years.

Ms Sharpe said she was aware of Miss Stewart's drug and alcohol issues and that police been involved "numerous times". She said there were also "issues over domestic violence".

Ms Sharpe added: "She later became involved with heroin. It was during the drug use that frequent males were visiting her at the home address and it appeared that Natasha was leading somewhat of a chaotic lifestyle.

"Around Christmas 2018, Natasha told me she had moved back to Fenton and this is the last place I'm aware of that she lived."

Ruling it a drug and alcohol-related death, assistant coroner Jones said: "This is a very sad case of a young woman who was surrounded by drugs and persons who were less than helpful in her lifestyle.

"There is no evidence to suggest drugs were anything other than self administered. Her intentions at the time of taking the drugs remain unclear."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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