Sussex

Mother took slimming pills and died of caffeine toxicity

A mother-of-two who died after swallowing a container of slimming pills had twice as much caffeine in her system as it would usually take to kill someone, an inquest has heard.

Katie Goard, 25, from East Grinstead, took the pills, was sick and went to bed, the inquest heard, but was found choking by her partner minutes later.

Her family said she would not have done "anything like that intentionally".

The coroner ruled she died of caffeine toxicity and gave an open verdict.

54 cups of coffee

Miss Goard, who had two young daughters, died in April.

Her blood contained 161mg of caffeine per litre and 80mg per litre would be a normal fatal dose, the hearing in Horsham was told.

Assistant coroner for West Sussex Michael Burgess said 10mg per litre could cause irritation in a person and an average cup of coffee would contain 3mg per litre.

It meant Miss Goard had as much caffeine in her blood as she would have done if she had drunk 54 cups of coffee.

Mr Burgess said because she had only taken the tablets shortly before her death the levels were unlikely to have reached their peak.

'Misguided belief'

The inquest heard Miss Goard was a devoted mother to her two daughters and had some self-confidence issues relating to her weight and a hearing disability, but she had been making plans for the future.

The hearing was told she took the fat metaboliser pills at about 23:30 BST on 29 April, vomited and said she felt unwell as she went to bed. Her partner checked on her 15 minutes later and found her choking and called an ambulance.

She was pronounced dead at 01:24 on 30 April - about two hours after swallowing the tablets.

Mr Burgess read a statement from Miss Goard's family which said: "She would not have done anything like that intentionally, not with the kids in the house. The children were her prized possessions."

Recording the open verdict, Mr Burgess said: "Maybe she consumed the tablets in the misguided belief that the amount she was taking would not harm her."

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