Love Island star Sophie Gradon hanged herself, inquest rules

Former Love Island star Sophie Gradon, pictured, was found hanged at home after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol, an inquest heard

Former Love Island star Sophie Gradon, pictured, was found hanged at home after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol, an inquest heard

Former Love Island star Sophie Gradon, pictured, was found hanged at home after taking cocaine and drinking alcohol, an inquest heard

Sophie Gradon was found hanged after a cocaine and alcohol binge, an inquest heard today.

The former Love Island star, 32, had been ‘devastated’ by the recent death of close friend Paul Burns, the hearing was told.

She was found by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong at her home in Ponteland, Northumberland, last June. 

Mr Armstrong, 25, was found dead at his home 20 days later. 

Coroner Eric Armstrong, sitting in North Shields, North Tyneside, issued a warning to others saying that the combination of the drink and drugs made people more likely to harm themselves.

The inquest comes after the family of Love Island star demanded a new investigation into her sudden death after insisting she did not kill herself. 

Today’s hearing was due to take place last month but was delayed at the family’s request, with the full agreement of the Northumberland coroner.

Miss Gradon was a former Miss Newcastle, attended Dame Allan’s private school in Newcastle and left Northumbria University with a 2:1 in media and culture.

She was a contestant in the 2016 series of Love Island, coupling with barman Tom Powell and then glamour model Katy Salmon in the show’s first same sex relationship.

Her relationship with Aaron Armstrong began a little over a month before her death and her parents didn’t get to meet him.

Following her death it was reported she had been suffering depression and financial worries and may have taken her own life, which was disputed by her parents Colin and Deborah.

Miss Gradon pictured with her mother Deborah. Mrs Gradon and husband Colin had previously halted the inquest and had insisted she had not killed herself

Miss Gradon pictured with her mother Deborah. Mrs Gradon and husband Colin had previously halted the inquest and had insisted she had not killed herself

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Miss Gradon pictured with her mother Deborah. Mrs Gradon and husband Colin had previously halted the inquest and had insisted she had not killed herself

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

The former Love Island star, right, was found by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, left, who himself was found dead at home 20 days later

Sources close to the family said they believed there was ‘nothing to support’ the suicide theory.

Miss Gradon and her boyfriend were alone in the large detached house and it is understood Mr Armstrong raised the alarm, prompting uniformed officers to attend the house.

In a statement last year her parents said: ‘Sophie spent an idyllic childhood in Gosforth, Newcastle, and then moved at the age of 10 to Ponteland in Northumberland. 

Miss Gradon was a former Miss Newcastle and competed in Miss Great Britain, pictured, in 2009

Miss Gradon was a former Miss Newcastle and competed in Miss Great Britain, pictured, in 2009

Miss Gradon was a contestant in the 2016 series of Love Island, coupling with barman Tom Powell and then glamour model Katy Salmon in the show's first same sex relationship

Miss Gradon was a contestant in the 2016 series of Love Island, coupling with barman Tom Powell and then glamour model Katy Salmon in the show's first same sex relationship

The former beauty pageant winner, left, competed on Love Island in 2016,right, and was involved in the show’s first same-sex coupling with Katy Salmon

‘Sophie told us she had just met someone new and had been on a lunch date with him.

‘She was excited at the prospect of starting a new relationship and it was her fullest intention to introduce us to him when the time was right. 

‘At the time of Sophie’s sudden and tragic passing, she had only been involved with Armstrong for five weeks.

For confidential support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see samaritans.org for details. 

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