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Inquest concludes Folkestone mum Kirsty Johnson killed herself

By Matt Leclere

A young mum "felt like a prisoner inside her own home" and under pressure from social services before taking her own life, an inquest heard.

Kirsty Johnson, 26, died at her flat in Folkestone on March 23, the day before a court hearing in which she expected to lose her five-month-old daughter.

Mrs Johnson, known as Kirsty Olive, was attending Turning Point to help her past of drug and alcohol abuse and was said to be doing well.

Mum-of-three Kirsty Olive

Mum-of-three Kirsty Olive

But she was found dead in her flat one morning after suffocating herself in her bedroom.

A "fatal" amount of codeine and "elevated" amount of paracetamol and cocaine were also identified during a post-mortem examination, the court heard.

The coroner concluded she died of asphyxiation and intoxication through drugs at her home in Harbour Court and also had a high level of alcohol in her body.

The inquest at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone heard Mrs Johnson had a history of self-harming, mental health issues, drug addiction and had tried taking her life three times before.

There was an impending court case brought by social services, which Mrs Johnson was told about 36 hours before the hearing was due to take place.

Katrina Hepburn, assistant coroner for South East Kent, read evidence that social services had started proceedings last year while Mrs Johnson was pregnant with her third child due to concern about her being able to care for the baby.

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone, where the inquest was held

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone, where the inquest was held

The court heard that from January 2017 social services had started visiting her flat every day and phoning her if she was not in to find out where she was.

Donna Olive, Mrs Johnson’s mother, paid tribute to her daughter describing her as “dizzy, loud and in your face but she was the most loving and funniest person” who “loved her kids more than anything”.

Speaking during the inquest she accused social services of not allowing Mrs Johnson to take her baby to “mum and baby group and wanted them to be in”.

South East Kent assistant coroner, Katrina Hepburn, said: “In 2017 her social service visits increased.

"It put pressure on Kirsty and she said there were too many appointments at the time.

“Kirsty’s mum described her like being a prisoner in her own home and the court case are all background factors.

“A note was left by Kirsty at the scene. I’m satisfied that this showed an intention to take her own life.”

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