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‘It was a tragic accident and I will never get over it’ - father warns of danger of drugs after daughter’s death

PUBLISHED: 09:35 10 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:35 10 September 2014

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley.

Norfolk coroner's court in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley.

Archant 2012

A father has warned of the dangers of recreational drugs following the death of his 20-year-old daughter.

Peter Barnes said his daughter Charlotte, who died from a drug-related death, was not an addict and there were no outward signs of her having a drug problem.

She had two jobs as a carer and had just been told she could work with disabled children at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which she was very excited about, he said.

After an inquest in Norwich on Tuesday, September 9, Mr Barnes said: “It was a tragic accident and I will never get over it.

“Her death has been such a shock and has affected so many people.

“She had a few knockbacks but she was making great progress in her life.

“I would just like to highlight the dangers of recreational drugs. If someone reading this would just now, maybe, think twice before taking drugs. Her death was such a loss to everybody that knew her.”

Mr Barnes said that, while he had previously smelled cannabis on his daughter’s clothes, and told her to be careful with drugs, she had shown no signs of ever being under their influence.

And he said that, while statements read out at the inquest, which 
were made by his daughter’s friends, confirmed she was taking cannabis, there was no suggestion she took hard drugs or that she was an 
addict.

The inquest was told that Miss Barnes was found by her father lying across her bed with pills beside her at the home they shared in Hilary Close, Lingwood, on June 7.

Concerns about her welfare had been raised after she failed to 
show up for work at one of her carer jobs.

A police investigation was launched, but officers have been unable to discover where Miss Barnes acquired the drugs that killed her.

Mr Barnes said Charlotte, who was born in Norwich, attended Lingwood infant and junior schools and then Acle High School.

She studied social care at Yarmouth College.

He added: “Charlotte had lots of friends and was well-liked. She was a lovely person, very spirited, and lived life to the full.

“She was passionate about what she did, and passionate about her friends.”

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake’s conclusion was a drug-related death.

The inquest heard that the cause of death was bronchopneumonia due to aspiration and respiratory depression due to ingestion of methadone and ketamine.

The inquest heard that, when Miss Barnes’s mother, Anne, who also lives in Hilary Close, last saw her a few days before her death she appeared to be happy.

A statement made by Miss Barnes’s friend, Sam Trett. was also read out at the inquest. While he said that he knew she smoked cannabis, he never saw her take hard drugs.

The inquest heard that Miss Barnes had been on anti-depressants but was not on any prescribed medication when she died.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one in the EDP? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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