A young mother died after taking a fatal dose of slimming pills, an inquest has been told.

Mother of two Katie Goard had more caffeine in her body than drinking 50 cups of coffee after she swallowed a container of slimming pills, in inquest into her death was told yesterday. Coroner's officer Geoff Charnock said Miss Goard, of Greenstede Avenue, East Grinstead, was a devoted mother to her two daughters, who had some self-confidence issues relating to her weight.

A toxicology test found the 25-year-old had taken more than double the fatal dose of caffeine.

She had been drinking when she swallowed the contents of a bottle containing fat metabolisers, the hearing in Horsham was told.

At about 11.30pm on April 29, Miss Goard swallowed the pills while at her partner’s house in Lister Avenue, before vomiting and going to bed saying she felt unwell.

Her partner went to check on her 15 minutes later and found her choking, Mr Charnock said.

An ambulance was called but she was pronounced dead at 1.24am on April 30, he added.

Michael Burgess, assistant coroner for West Sussex, said Miss Goard's blood had contained 161mg of caffeine per litre.

He said a cup of coffee normally contained 3mg per litre and that 10mg per litre could cause irritation in a person.

The assistant coroner explained that a fatal dose would be 80mg per litre and Miss Goard had been found with double that in her bloodstream.

He added that because she had only taken the tablets shortly before her death the levels were unlikely to have reached their peak.

Mr Burgess read a statement from Miss Goard's family which said: "She would not have done anything like that intentionally, not with the kids in the house. The children were her prized possessions."

Mr Burgess recorded an open verdict and the cause of death as caffeine toxicity.

He said: "Maybe she consumed the tablets in the misguided belief that the amount she was taking would not harm her."