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Inquest held into Goodmayes woman found dead with ‘fatal’ level of nicotine in blood

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2012 | UPDATED: 11:43 25 February 2012

The nicotine-induced death of a Goodmayes woman remains shrouded in mystery after an open verdict was recorded by a coroner.

Geeta Singh, 41, of Broomhill Road, was found face-down in a bedroom at her home on November 3 at around 2pm by her sister.

The lecturer was suffering from fibromyalgia, a painful condition for which she had been prescribed a cocktail of painkillers and anti depressants to alleviate the pain.

She was also trying to give up smoking and used electronic cigarettes to curb her addiction.

Speaking at the inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court on Thursday, sister Sulochana described her as “open, warm and always caring about others,” and said she had never spoken about self harm or feeling depressed despite the fact she was often in pain.

The last evening before she died, Geeta stayed up with her sister until around midnight, and the pair spoke about saving up to book a holiday next year.

“I really felt that next year was going to be the year that everything got better. I felt things were on the right track,” said Sulochana.

But the next morning, when Geeta did not emerge from her room, Sulochana assumed she was sleeping off a cold she had caught and left her until the afternoon.

When she tried to find her in her bedroom, she realised she had gone to another bedroom in the house where Sulochana said she would often read magazines and relax when she could not sleep.

But Sulochana realised she could not wake her sister, and called an ambulance who instructed her how to try and keep Geeta alive, but she was pronounced dead when emergency services arrived.

Toxicology reports showed Geeta had toxic, but not fatal, levels of painkiller Tramadol in her blood, but mysteriously, a fatal level of nicotine was found in her blood.

Coroner Chinyere Inyama said: “Usual levels of nicotine in smokers range from about 0.035mg to 0.54mg, but Miss Singh had more than eight mg in her blood.”

Summarising that he could not be satisfied as to whether Geeta intended to take her own life, or the death was accidental, he recorded an open verdict.

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