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Zoe Carroll, sister of infamous lottery winner Michael, died in King’s Lynn home after taking cocaine, inquest hears

The sister of an infamous lottery winner from Lynn died in her home after taking cocaine, an inquest heard.

Zoe Carroll was found unresponsive at her Metcalf Avenue property on May 4, prompting a large response from emergency services as paramedics and police rushed to the scene.

Today at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, an inquest concluded that she died a drug-related death after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The inquest of Zoe Carroll was heard at Norfolk Coroner’s Court today
The inquest of Zoe Carroll was heard at Norfolk Coroner’s Court today

Zoe, the sister of Michael Carroll – who won nearly £10million in the National Lottery in the early 2000s, leading to his ‘Lotto Lout’ nickname – was born in Lynn and lived in the town until she died aged 43.

Her mother, Kim McCleary, told the inquest that Zoe had been mourning the recent passing of a family member in the lead-up to her own death.

The night before she died, Zoe hosted a party in her home to “celebrate the life” of that family member. Ms McCleary was told those in attendance drank alcohol and used cocaine.

A statement from Dan Ketley, a doctor with the Magpas Air Ambulance crew which attended the scene the following day, said he was informed that white powder had been found divided into lines on a chopping board.

Emergency services spent a total of 66 minutes attempting to save Zoe, administering CPR and medications such as adrenaline, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The air ambulance had been called at 4.23pm.

PC Sam Ward, from Lynn Police, was in attendance at the time. His statement at the inquest said that Zoe had “appeared fine” earlier in the day of her death and had fallen asleep at 12pm.

However, when she failed to wake up when her alarm clock rang – which was “not normal” – two of her children who were in the house tried and failed to rouse her before phoning 999.

A post-mortem examination of Zoe’s body was carried out on July 4, with a report on the results by Dr Martin Goddard read out at the inquest today.

Her heart was “found to be normal”, and the changes to its structure were consistent with the effects of drugs.

Dr Goddard ruled the cause of death to be a “fatal cardiac arrest” due to cocaine use. His report said Zoe died after a “sudden arrhythmia”.

Jacqueline Lake, the senior coroner for Norfolk, rounded off the inquest by saying: “There is evidence of drug use in the period prior to her death, and toxicology found the use of cocaine.

“On that basis, my conclusion is a drug-related death.”

Ms McCleary had earlier told the inquest about the various health battles Zoe faced throughout her life.

Zoe was “no bother as a young girl” and never asked for anything, but had stage five kidney disease – the last stage before the organs fail entirely.

She would attend raves as a teenager, but her mother said she was unsure whether she used drugs while doing so. This pastime paused after Zoe had children, but she did start going to raves again later in life.

She was also diagnosed with uterus cancer, going through radiation therapy and chemotherapy before eventually having a ureteric stent fitted – with regular follow-up operations required.

During this, Zoe would say: “It is what it is, mum.”

Ms McCleary told the inquest: “Zoe was very stressed about many things when she passed.”

These included the recent death of the close family member, an upcoming operation, and providing for her four children.

She had been in remission from cancer for around five years when she died.

Dr Ian Hotchin of the Southgates and The Woottons Surgeries in Lynn, where Zoe had been a patient since 1998, said she had been prescribed with the likes of diazepam, morphine and codeine in recent years to deal with both physical pain and stress.

She had also been treated for depression at the practice between 2009 and 2010.

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