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No inquest after teen and unborn baby die

Tragic teen Leah La Roche, with a friend
Tragic teen Leah La Roche, with a friend

An inquest will not be held into the death of a pregnant 15-year-old schoolgirl and her unborn baby, it has been announced.

Tragic Leah La Roche died after being rushed to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham. It is not clear if maternity staff tried to deliver her baby.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died of natural causes and an inquest will not be held, the coroner's office for Mid Kent and Medway said on Wednesday.

Leah, a pupil at Chatham Grammar School for Girls, and the daughter she was intending to name Tia died last Thursday.

Tragic teen Leah La Roche, with a friend
Tragic teen Leah La Roche, with a friend

A Kent Police spokesman confirmed a detective inspector was sent to Medway Maritime Hospital after the "sudden death".

She said it was believed the teenager had suffered a cardiac arrest, but it was not known if she died at home or at the hospital.

The spokesman confirmed the baby had also died.

It was not revealed how far into her pregnancy Leah was when she died.

Scores of tributes have been paid to Leah, who was engaged to her boyfriend Tom Leadbetter.

Hundreds of people have joined the Facebook page, RIP Leah La Roche, to post their memories of the blonde teenager.

One friend described Leah as "the most beautiful and inspiring person" she had ever met.

Tragic teen Leah La Roche
Tragic teen Leah La Roche

She wrote: "You always put a smile on my face and you knew so much about me that no one else does.

"I love you leelee and I'm so distraught we isn't get to meet that
beautiful baby girl of yours. Sleep well girls xxxzzz."

Kaye Tree wrote: "I may not have known you, but ive heard your an amazing, beautiful girl.

"Heaven has gained two beautiful girls in fact - Leah and your baby girl Tia."

Meanwhile, Leah's sister, Verity La Roche, has set up a tribute page on the website Gonetoosoon.org

In a moving tribute, she wrote: "A beautiful, loving and caring
daughter, sister, dranddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, fiancée to Tom and Aunty to Millie.

Tragic teen Leah La Roche
Tragic teen Leah La Roche

"Such a cruel loss of Leah and her beautiful baby Tia, they never got to share life together with us but we all know they are together now watching over us all and Leah is being the wonderful mum we all knew she was going to be.

"Words can't describe the pain of losing them. The number of people affected by their loss is testimony to how amazing, bright, funny, loveable, bubbly, happy and wonderful Leah is and how she is loved by SO many.

"We will miss her incredibly and never, ever forget her and her
beautiful ways x."

Another message, thought to be from her boyfriend Tom, said: "R.I.P Leah and Tia i love you both so much xxxxxxx."

Leah's sister Verity told friends Leah had had a flu jab recently.

A spokesman for Medway NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "Medway NHS Foundation Trust is deeply saddened by the death of Leah and her baby and would like to extend its deepest sympathies to her family and friends.

"Leah's family do not wish us to make any further comments at this time. Everyone's thoughts are with them during this very difficult time."

Did you know Leah? Post your tribute to her in the comment box below.

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