Basildon schoolgirl Sherie-Lea James died of drug overdose

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An inquest in Chelmsford heard Sherie-Lea James, from Basildon, went into cardiac arrest and died at Basildon University Hospital

A girl who survived liver cancer as a toddler died after taking a lethal cocktail of ecstasy and cocaine, an inquest has heard.

Sherie-Lea James, 15, "thought she was enjoying herself" when she took the drugs at a flat party last September.

But an inquest in Chelmsford heard Sherie-Lea, from Basildon, went into cardiac arrest and died at Basildon University Hospital.

The inquest heard the amount of drugs taken was enough to kill her.

Coroner Eleanor McGann concluded Sherie-Lea's death was drug-related.

Ms McGann said: "Sadly, like many young people, Sherie-Lea had voluntarily taken some drugs.

"A young girl who just thought she was enjoying herself - but sadly there are many young people who take these drugs thinking it's just a bit of fun.

"But in the end it has absolutely tragic consequences and I hope other young people will think about the consequences that may come from taking illegal drugs."


A post-mortem examination concluded that Sherie-Lea died of MDMA intoxication with cocaine. MDMA is more commonly known as ecstasy.

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The coroner's court at County Hall in Chelmsford heard Sherie-Lea's death was drug-related

Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings of Essex Police said nobody had been charged with any offence leading to Sherie-Lea's death.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter but face no further action.

The inquest heard the quantity of ecstasy was such that it could have killed Sherie-Lea on its own.

Det Ch Insp Jennings said: "The levels of the MDMA were considerably higher but that, with the combination of the cocaine, was the cause of death."

Sherie-Lea's mother Sam and one of her brothers attended the inquest and made no comment afterwards.