'Beautiful' mum, 31, collapsed and died on family holiday night out

By Jonathan Humphries & Victoria Jones

Tributes have been paid to a "beautiful and generous" mum who died suddenly on a night out.

The family of Jessica Gibson have been left mystified by her death, which happened on July 9.

The 31-year-old was on a family holiday from her home in Banbridge in County Down, Northern Ireland, with her parents, Andy and Jennifer Gibson, when she died, the Liverpool Echo report.

The family had travelled to Blackpool on July 1 as a last minute break after Covid scuppered their plans for a holiday to Lanzarote, but Jessica went on to Liverpool to meet friends, intending to fly home the following day.

However she collapsed at a flat in the city and was rushed to the Royal Liverpool Hospital, where she died in the early hours of July 9 from what was found to be an accidental heroin and cocaine overdose.

Her parents, both retired prison officers, said there was never any sign that Jessica had taken heroin in the past and a court heard there was no evidence she was "drug dependent".

Jennifer Gibson, who travelled back to Liverpool for an inquest into her daughter's death at Gerard Majella Courthouse, said she had no idea how the mum-of-one had gotten hold of heroin.

She said: "She did like to have a drink I can't lie about that, but I could not believe heroin. Nobody seems to know where she got it.

"We have asked the police about who gave it to her but they don't know."

Remembering their daughter, Mrs Gibson said: "She was beautiful, she was stunning, she really was.

"She was generous, generous to a fault even. I'll give an example. We were watching the football in Blackpool, England vs Ukraine in the Euros, and she saw a poor wee homeless man sitting on the floor.

Jessica Gibson, 31, from Banbridge in County Down, Northern Ireland, who died on a night out in Liverpool during a family holiday (Gibson family)

"She sat down with him and said 'you don't need to be sitting here, get yourself home', and she gave him £20."

Mr Gibson said: "She was really outgoing, she was funny and she was very confident and compassionate."

The inquest heard a post-mortem exam was carried out which found no signs of injury.

However toxicology reports found alcohol and a high level of heroin in her bloodstream, which Andre Rebello, senior coroner for Liverpool and Wirral, said would have been near fatal for a tolerant user.

She also had a high level of cocaine in her system which could have played a role in her death.

The medical cause of death was given as heroin and cocaine toxicity.

Mr Rebello said: "I understand Jessica had taken some drugs in the past but this was normally cocaine, not heroin.

"She was not a tolerant user, therefore if this level would have been fatal or near fatal for a tolerant user this level would suffice to explain Jessica's death."

Mr Rebello also told the court there was no evidence of injury or anything to suggest "drugs had been forced on her".

However he slammed the dealers who profited from the heroin that killed Jessica.

Jessica Gibson, 31, from Banbridge in County Down, Northern Ireland, who died on a night out in Liverpool during a family holiday (Gibson family)

He told the inquest: "There are some people out there who peddle these drugs that are causing death to those people who are vulnerable and turn to them for release.

"Those people actually profit from your grief and bereavement and you are also victims of their illicit and evil trade."

Mr Rebello recorded a conclusion of "death by cocaine and heroin toxicity none dependent use of drugs."

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