A mother who died after falling from a 13th floor balcony in Kingston had a history of drug-use and mental health problems, an inquest into her death has heard.

Debbie Cooper, 37, fell from her balcony in Brinkley tower in Burritt Road on the Cambridge Road Estate just after 4pm on Saturday, May 16.

She was found by a member of the public but died before emergency services could take her to hospital.

Rita Stringer, her mother, told West London Coroners’ Court yesterday that she believed her daughter’s mental health problems had begun after she took some heroin with a boyfriend.

Mrs Stringer said: "She told me at some stage that she had taken some heroin. It was with a boyfriend who was an ex-addict and now years later I can look back and think maybe that was the start."

Ms Cooper had on record nearly 20 A&E discharges from Kingston Hospital since 2010, and despite previously taken drug overdoses and attempted killing herself, she had always been in touch with someone to let them know what she was doing, the court heard.

Although Ms Cooper had fallen from her balcony, with no witnesses to the fall, Coroner Chineyre Inyama recorded an open conclusion into the death, stating he could not be sure she had taken her own life Ms Cooper had visited her mother and step-father the week before and seemingly been in good spirits.

Mrs Stringer said: "I said it was like having the old Debbie back, we were joking about things."

Ms Cooper, who was training to be a nurse before her struggle with mental health, leaves behind a teenage daughter.

Known to the borough’s health and social services, Kingston Council previously said it had launched its own investigation.

The Mind charity promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Its helpline number is 03001 233 393. Alternatively call Mind in Kingston on 020 8255 3939.

To get in touch with the Samaritans in Kingston, call 020 8399 6676 or drop in at 12 St Andrew’s Road, Surbiton. Samaritans lend a confidential ear to those in distress.