Solvent death of MOD worker

PUBLISHED: 12:10 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 25 August 2010

A FORMER Ministry of Defence official died after sniffing up to 30 cans of solvent in a day, an inquest heard.

A FORMER Ministry of Defence official died after sniffing up to 30 cans of solvent in a day, an inquest heard.

Fiona Goldsmith, 34, was rushed to hospital after her boyfriend found her slumped over the bed in his ground floor bedsit, in Ogilby Street, Blackheath, on September 21 last year.

Doctors tried to resuscitate her but she died an hour later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, southeast London.

Southwark Coroners Court heard on Tuesday that the mother-of-three had a long-standing solvent habit and had been sniffing between 20 and 30 aerosols cans a day.

She also had a history of depression and self-harm and had been diagnosed with emotional unstable personality disorder. The inquest was told Ms Goldsmith, of Oppenheim Road, Lewisham, had a traumatic childhood and spent a lot of time in care, living in 13 different care homes.

Despite her tough upbringing, she went on to obtain 10 GCSEs and 3 A Levels before finding work as a personnel officer for the MoD.

But the troubled mum quit after she became pregnant with her first child in 1995. She went on to have two more kids but social services took them away when her drug problems got worse.

In the months before her death Ms Goldsmith met boyfriend James Dearsley and spent time with him at his home in Ogilby Street.

On the day she died she had gone through 15 cans before he went out at 2pm. When he returned around 9pm she was lying in a pool of her own vomit surrounded by more cans.

A post mortem report revealed she died as a result of solvent inhalation.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bexley Times