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Bury St Edmunds woman found dead by partner, Suffolk Coroner's Court, in Ipswich, told



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A Bury St Edmunds woman who suffered from anxiety and drug abuse was found dead by her partner, an inquest heard.

Nikki Scarff, 40, was found unresponsive on the living room sofa of her Angel Hill flat by her partner of 15 years, Lee Brown, on July 25, 2019.

Mr Brown called paramedics but Ms Scarff, known to her mother as Nikki Marie, was pronounced dead just after 10pm that evening, the inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court heard this morning.

Suffolk Coroner's Court. Pictures: Mark Westley.
Suffolk Coroner's Court. Pictures: Mark Westley.

Mr Brown left the flat earlier that evening following a row with Ms Scarff who he said was acting strangely, and returned to find her unresponsive.

The inquest heard Ms Scarff had struggled with anxiety and drug abuse in the later years of her life, and attended appointments with Turning Point, but that as late as July 2019, was engaging with medical health professionals and seemed positive.

Det Con Glenn Toms, who attended Ms Scarff's flat on the evening of her death, said the fact there was no suicide note nor alcohol found in her system by a toxicology report suggested she did not intend to take her own life.

Nikki Scarff was found dead by her partner Lee Brown on July 25, 2019.
Nikki Scarff was found dead by her partner Lee Brown on July 25, 2019.

The toxicology report did find a number of prescription and recreational drugs in her system however, and the inquest also heard Ms Scarff suffered from a cardiac condition which weakened her heart.

Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, concluded Ms Scarff died from a drug-related death with a background of a known cardiac condition.

In a statement to the inquest, Ms Scarff's mother, Linda Middleditch, said her family's hearts were broken and would 'never mend'.

She added Ms Scarff's father became a violent alcoholic who would 'lash out' at Mrs Middleditch. On one occasion he hit Ms Scarff.

Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, concluded Ms Scarff's death was drug-related with a background of a known cardiac condition.
Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, concluded Ms Scarff's death was drug-related with a background of a known cardiac condition.

The inquest heard Mrs Middleditch remarried and Ms Scarff 'adored' her step-father.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

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