A CORONER has ruled that a former Love Island contestant from Ponteland took her own life.

Sophie Gradon (32), from Medburn, died on June 20 last year after she was found hanged in her family home.

The former Love Island star was discovered by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who took his own life 20 days later.

A post-mortem carried out by Home Office pathologist, Dr Jennifer Bolton, showed Ms Gradon had consumed nearly three times the drink-drive limit in alcohol and was under the influence of cocaine.

South Northumberland coroner, Eric Armstrong, said: “The combination is used by those who believe it brings on a so-called high much quicker.

“What they do not appreciate is it also gives rise to violent thoughts.”

Research in the USA has shown that the combination makes somebody 16 times more likely to kill themselves, Mr Armstrong added.

He said: “I am certain she wouldn’t have acted the way she did if she had not taken drugs or alcohol.

“If Sophie’s death is to serve any purpose at all, that message must go out far and wide.”

After her death, Northumbria Police spoke to a number of witnesses who had contacted her in the days before her death.

Det. Sgt Neill Jobling told the inquest Ms Gradon had been exchanging messages, and then called, a male friend into the early hours of the day she died.

In the messages she had described having suicidal thoughts, and said she was “struggling with the world”.

The inquest, held on Thursday in North Shields, heard Sophie and Aaron, had been engaging in texts throughout the previous day that were “very general and loving in nature”.

However, Sophie didn’t respond to his messages by 11am on June 20.

Aaron and his brother travelled to Ms Gradon’s house after he became concerned for his girlfriend. He then forced entry after seeing Ms Gradon unconscious through the window.

He attempted CPR for 15 minutes but soon realised she was dead.

Det. Sgt Jobling added: “Northumbria Police are satisfied there is no third party involvement or suspicious circumstances surrounding this death.”

The inquest heard that Ms Gradon had been diagnosed with depression and low self-esteem in 2013 and was taking medication to deal with her social anxiety order up until she died.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner Eric Armstrong said: “Sophie Gradon, having consumed alcohol and cocaine, took her own life by hanging.”