Inquest hears domestic abuse victim with PTSD died from lethal heroin dose

The night of Neda Mirshahi's death was one of the first times she had ever taken heroin. Picture: Ju

The night of Neda Mirshahi's death was one of the first times she had ever taken heroin. Picture: Julien Behal/PA Wire - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A “wonderful and innocent” domestic abuse victim who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder died after taking heroin, an inquest has heard.

Neda Mirshahi, 31, who had severe mental health problems, mixed alcohol with cocaine and Valium with new boyfriend David Hughes at his flat in Pratt Street, Camden Town, on May 27.

She then took a “near-fatal” dosage of heroin after he fell asleep.

Her boyfriend, who had been in a relationship with Ms Mirshahi for two weeks, awoke at about 10.30pm to find her unconscious in his bedroom and told a neighbour to ring for an ambulance.

Despite attempts by Mr Hughes and the emergency services to save her, she was pronounced dead at 11.30pm.


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It was one of the first times she had ever taken the narcotic, consultant pathologist Dr Lina Kiho told St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Wednesday (October 8).

“It is likely the presence of Valium and alcohol contributed [to her death],” she said. “She probably didn’t have any tolerance to [heroin] at all.”

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Her father Yousef Ali Mirshahi told the Ham&High after the inquest that his daughter was “at 31, the most innocent and wonderful girl I have ever known”.

Dr Philip Posner, a GP at James Wigg Practice in Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town, said Ms Mirshahi had been the subject of “extreme domestic abuse” when she was younger.

He revealed that she had been homeless and spent some time in a refuge for victims of domestic violence.

On the day of her death, she was discharged from Rivers Crisis House in St Pancras, a centre designed to prevent hospitalisation for mental illness, on and had returned to accommodation at Camden Hostel in Camden Road, Camden Town.

Ms Mirshahi, who regularly took cocaine and had a history of alcohol abuse, was admitted to the centre on May 13 after struggling to engage with Camden’s mental health services.

The inquest heard that she was unhappy with her accommodation at the hostel and wanted to move out.

Her doctors and mental health nurses were adamant that Ms Mirshahi, who self-harmed and suffered from seizures and hallucinations, was not suicidal at the time of her death.

The court was told that she was discussing alternative housing options with a social worker, which she was “positive” about.

Senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell recorded a determination, which until recently was called a verdict, of a drug-related death caused by “heroin toxicity”.

She told the court: “What we have heard is that Neda had a lot of difficulties in her life.

“Nothing I have heard today indicates that Neda wanted to end her life.”

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