Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

'More questions' over French death

Ann Corcoran, pictured, gave evidence at the inquest into Katy French's death

The heartbroken family of model Katy French have said there are still questions to be answered over what happened to her the morning she slipped into a coma after taking cocaine.

Jill French welcomed the open verdict recorded at an inquest into her daughter's death stating there had been little evidence the 24-year-old had taken a lot of drugs or alcohol before she died.

A coroner's court revealed the socialite consumed a "sip" of alcohol and had very low levels of cocaine in her system when she was brought to accident and emergency shortly after 10am on December 2 2007.

State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the hearing in Trim courthouse, Co Meath, Ms French died four days later from hypoxic ischemic brain injury - when the brain was starved of oxygen - due to cocaine and ephedrine, a substance she said can be mistaken for ecstasy or taken as an appetite suppressant.

Ms French had collapsed at a house in Lambertstown Manor, Kilmessan, Co Meath.

Former couple Kieron Ducie and Ann Corcoran, who gave evidence at the hearing, were previously handed respective two-and-a-half and two-year suspended sentences for arranging a drug deal the weekend the socialite collapsed at their home.

Both claimed Ms French drank champagne and vodka and red bull in their home and that she was teary when they put her to bed drunk in the early hours, but they had not seen her take drugs. They asked Coroner John Lacy if they could change their statements and remove the time they said they found her having a fit.

Ms French was discovered face down, with her eyes bulging, foaming at the mouth, with her head back and arms and legs outstretched, on the floor of their spare bedroom. The couple initially said this was at 8.15am but did not offer a revised time at the inquest.

Outside the courthouse Mrs French said: "There are still a lot of unanswered questions, particularly about what happened before Katy was brought to the hospital."

Flanked by her husband John and daughter Jill she said there were gaps in the evidence from Ducie and Corcoran. "There was no real evidence of alcohol and no evidence of seizures. The level of cocaine was noted as being very low," she added.

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