Leeds grandma collapsed and died on bus after taking spice and cocaine, inquest told

A Leeds woman whose life was blighted by drug addiction collapsed and died on a bus after taking spice and cocaine, an inquest heard.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:45 am

Sarah Johnson was aged 15 when she met a boy who had been released from a young offender institution and he introduced her to heroin soon after, the inquest at Wakefield was told.

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The inquest heard Sarah, 45, remained a drug user all her life despite numerous attempts to stop.

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Sarah Johnson

She had not used heroin for 18 months before her death, but was using spice and cocaine.

Sarah had moved into a flat in Adel and had caught a bus outside Asda at Holt Park just after 12.30pm on June 13 to travel to her mum's house in Swillington.

Assistant Coroner John Hobson said she collapsed soon after boarding the bus and the driver called for an ambulance.

Paramedics were unable to revive Sarah and she was declared dead on the bus at Holtdale Approach just before 2pm.

A toxicology report found evidence of spice, cocaine and methadone in her system.

Pathologist Dr Lisa Barker recorded the cause of death as synthetic cannabinoid (spice) toxicity with cocaine use as a contributory cause.

Sarah's sister Emma Dickinson said in a statement read to the court that Sarah was 15 when she met a boy who had been released from a young offender institution and he introduced her to heroin soon after.

Ms Dickinson wrote: "That was the start of her years of drug abuse....I tried to help her over the years but the drugs were just too much of a pull for her."

Ms Dickinson added in the statement: "We loved Sarah. She was a loving sister, mother and daughter.

"She just chose the wrong pathway in life and couldn't get off it. She will be missed by us all."

Mr Hobson recorded a conclusion that Sarah's death was drug related.

Sarah had previously lived on the streets and Leeds charity Homeless Street Angels met her on an outreach project earlier this year and were helping her renovate her flat.

Sarah leaves two daughters aged 27 and 24 and three grandchildren.

Her mum Angela Johnson, 66, said after the inquest: "'I'm absolutely broken. She absolutely adored her grandchildren.

"Sarah was well loved. She would walk in a room and light the room up. She was such a wonderful human being, but the drugs took her over.

"She was always my girl and I will always love her."

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