Tragic death of 'selfless and caring' Huddersfield mum aged 44 after 'kind nature was taken advantage of'

-Credit: (Image: Funeral Notices)
-Credit: (Image: Funeral Notices)

A mum of five described as a 'selfless and caring' woman died after taking drugs at home, an inquest heard.

Former hairdresser and pub worker Toni Paine, who was 44, was found in her bedroom at her home in Oakes, Huddersfield, in February after a man dialled 999 and then 'made off' from the property, according to police.

An inquest into Miss Paine's death heard from her sister, Jodie, who said her sibling had a good work ethic and had gone into hairdressing after leaving Colne Valley High School, later working at a care home and at a pub. She had later moved to Golcar and in 2009 there had been a 'turning point' in her life when she had been assaulted and her alleged attacker found not guilty.

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"This really affected Toni - that she wasn't believed," Jodie said in a statement. After the 2009 incident Miss Paine started drinking alcohol regularly, she added.

Jodie spoke about how 'outdoorsy' her sister was and her love for camping trips with the family. She said her sister's 'decline' came around the time of the pandemic lockdown when she 'shut everyone out' and began asking family members for money, saying that people were knocking on he door in relation to a partner's 'drug debts'.

Jodie said her sister's appearance began to decline and she began to look unwell, although she had denied taking drugs.

Shortly before Miss Paine's death, family had become aware of another male in her life, who was known as 'crackhead Chris' and who would call at her home in Sheepridge.

Jodie said her sister's death had devastated the family and it was felt that others had got her into drugs. She said her sister was a good person who had been influenced by others. She claimed her sister's "kind nature has been taken advantage of."

"Toni was a good mother who would have done everything for her children. She was selfless and such a caring mother. She would give her last £1 and go without. She was loved so much by me and the family."

A post mortem examination found that Miss Paine had died from a fatal dose of heroin, with cocaine also detected in her system. She had also been suffering from an infected heart valve, a condition sometimes caused by the intravenous injection of drugs.

An investigation by West Yorkshire Police concluded that Miss Paine's death appeared to be drug-related with no suggestion that anyone else was involved. The inquest heard that there was an ongoing investigation into the supply of drugs to Miss Paine.

Assistant coroner Angela Brocklehurst described how Miss Paine had been found at her home surrounded by drug paraphernalia including needles, tin foil and a crack pipe. She said neighbours had described a lot of 'coming and going' from the address in Bay Close, but there was no suggestion anyone else was involved in her death.

Miss Brocklehurst said that Miss Paine's death had occurred "at a time unknown" between February 15 and 16, shortly after the administration of heroin. The coroner recorded a drug-related death.

The coroner told family members present in court: "It is clear to me that Toni was well loved by her family who tried to support her even at times when she didn't want that.

"It must be heartbreaking to see the deterioration of a loved one, caused by something beyond the control of relatives and those who loved her. This is a tragedy that you have had to live with and that is very hard."

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