Boyfriend’s panic over woman’s drugs death as couple slept rough

Stephanie Brewer
Stephanie Brewer
Arthur Bailey from Cosham ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180606-7076)

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THE BOYFRIEND of a homeless woman found dead outside Gosport civic offices last year has told an inquest of his panic after discovering his partner motionless.

Stephanie Brewer, 21, was found cold by her boyfriend Michael Brookes in her sleeping bag last August after taking a concoction of drugs, including heroin, and alcohol.

The pair had been sleeping rough for more than a month after losing their hostel shelter accommodation.

Describing his agony at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, Mr Brookes said he went for a walk and returned to find Ms Brewer not moving.

‘I’m always out of my head but as far as I can remember we were taking all sorts — heroin, morphine, pregabalin and cannabis.

‘I don’t know how much we had - I was dropping them like smarties. I went to bed and woke up early and she was snoring but when I came back I tried to wake her as it was pay day.

‘I said “wake up babe” but she did not respond. That’s when I became distressed.

‘I tried breathing into her mouth and was sick when something went into my mouth.

‘I wouldn’t want to go through anything like that again.’

Ms Brewer was taken to Queen Alexandra by paramedics but could not be saved.

Gosport police station cleaner Dawn Whale saw the incident and rushed over to help.

‘She was lifeless in her sleeping bag with Michael shouting to her to “wake up”,’ she told the hearing. ‘I was really upset by it all.’

Det Sgt Andy Lucas said the pair, who had been sleeping next to the police station, were known to them for having ‘domestic niggles’ but confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances related to her death.

He said the deceased’s body had injection marks on it while also stating she was not in good health prior to her death. ‘She was a big girl who was out of breath and had chest pains,’ he said.

Pathologist doctor Adnan Al-Badri said a concoction of drugs were found in Ms Brewer’s system which led to her central nervous system becoming depressed - leading to her death.

Ms Brewer’s sister Michelle told the inquest her sibling had suffered with depression since the death of their brother and had been taking anti-depressants on and off.

Coroner David Horsley, recording a drug related death, said: ‘It’s a very sad story when someone ends up in this state. Addiction is an illness which led to her death in this case.’