A mother has paid tribute to her chef daughter who died after a heroin overdose.

Sarah Lavis, 44, from Brighton, was found unresponsive at her girlfriend’s flat and was pronounced dead shortly after.

Ms Lavis had struggled with addiction and relapsed after a period of being clean.

At an inquest at Brighton Coroner’s Court yesterday, her mother Hillary Rogers said: “She tried her best and was clean in Sri Lanka.

“We went there for a break [shortly before her death] and she was very positive and looking forward to starting a new life.

“She wanted to do voluntary work and was excited at the prospect of moving on.

“That was the last time I saw her.”

Ms Lavis was found dead on Sunday, February 11, at her girlfriend’s flat in Hadlow Close, Brighton.

Her girlfriend Rebecca Laurence Sowerby said Ms Lavis told her she had taken heroin the evening before.

Ms Sowerby left her to sleep on the sofa, but when she woke the next day she found her unresponsive.

Ms Lavis was pronounced dead at 9.30am by paramedics at the scene.

Toxicologist Amber Crampton found the breakdown products of heroin in her body, alongside traces of ketamine, benzodiazepine and cocaine.

Ms Crampton said: “Heroin is a very dangerous drug.

“Some people use it again and again, then use it once and it will kill them.”

Assistant coroner for the city of Brighton and Hove Catherine Palmer ruled the death was drug-related misadventure due to heroin toxicity.

Ms Lavis, of Highbrook Close, Brighton, had an active social life and had been a peer support volunteer for Brighton Housing Trust.