Tragic death of young mum, days after Valentine’s celebration with boyfriend

A young mum-of-two died of “cocaine toxicity” two days after a Valentine’s celebration with her boyfriend in Manchester.

Charlotte Hibbert, 26, was found collapsed at her home in Wythenshawe on February 16 2022. She was said to be a user of cocaine at social occasions.

Her boyfriend, Conner Duerden, was initially arrested, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided there was “insufficient evidence” for him to be charged with gross negligence manslaughter. An investigation continues into allegations of possession of Class A drugs.

Manchester Coroners’ Court heard yesterday (September 14) that paramedics found Ms Hibbert unresponsive on the floor of the living room of her home.

An attempted CPR recovery was unsuccessful and she was confirmed dead at the scene.

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A post mortem examination found several bruises and lacerations on her upper arms as well as bruising to her hand and scalp.

But death by a possible assault was ruled out by the pathologist who conducted the post mortem, saying: “Regardless of how these were obtained I do not believe them to be a contributor either collectively or individually to the cause of death.”

He also said there were no other injuries consistent to an assault.

He said: “Cocaine toxicity represented the central factor in the death of Charlotte.”

A toxicology report showed Ms Hibbert consumed cocaine “within a day or so” of her death, and had taken it alongside alcohol.

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Paramedics expressed concern to the inquest that Ms Hibbert did not received any attempted CPR before their arrival and suspected she might have been dead “longer than indicated”.

Mr Duerden, Ms Hibbert’s boyfriend, told police he believed her drink may have been spiked in the last bar they visited.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Matthew Dixon led a special procedure investigation into her death because of concern about the circumstances leading up to the death expressed at the scene by paramedics.

Assistant coroner Andrew Bridgman concluded that “given the circumstances of her death the only conclusion I can reach is that this was a drug-related death.”

Ms Hibbert’s mother Lisa Cliff told Manchester Evening News: “I think about what happened every night but it’s terrible to think we may never find out exactly what happened during those two days.

“I lost my eldest son in 2014 with meningitis. He was 21. He would be 30 now. My family has suffered enough.”

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