Aspiring actress, 21, fell to her death from mother's balcony

A troubled young woman who dreamed of becoming an actress died after her life descended into a chaos of drink and drugs, an inquest has heard.

Aspiring actress Jenna Latham had a promising future after completing a performing arts course with top grades.

On September 9, 2011, after being arrested that morning, she went to her mother's home in Newcastle and fell from the third-floor balcony.

Mother Lynne Latham and a police officer tried to save her but their efforts were in vain and Jenna plunged to her death at around 6.30pm.

At the resumed inquest in Newcastle, which could last up to four days, coroner David Mitford heard from Ms Latham, who said she was consumed with fear her daughter would try to hurt herself following a history of threats to take her own life.

She said: 'She was often saying that she didn't want to be here and was suicidal.

'I remember one time about a year before she died I picked her up and took her back to my house when she was really drunk and she went to the window and I had to get her away.'

Just months earlier, talented Jenna had completed a course at Newcastle College and Ms Latham told the hearing: 'She did dancing, acting and got the highest mark. She got loads of certificates and was going to be an actress.'

'She had got three auditions but she was very poorly at that time. I believe she could've got them if she wasn't ill.

'She was wanting to go away to London and to travel the world - she was going places.'

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But after moving to Byker, in Newcastle, Ms Latham became concerned about her daughter hanging out with some 'dodgy' types.

Grief: Mother Lynne Latham (left), who desperately tried to save her daughter as she clung to the balcony railings. Jenna (right) was drunk and had a variety of drugs in her system, including cannabis, tranquillisers, methadone and tramadol, when she died

She said during the following months she noticed a change in Jenna and was led to believe she was suffering with depression which could have led her to turn to alcohol and drugs.

A toxicology report showed Jenna was double the legal drink-drive limit at the time of her death as well as having a cocktail of drugs in her system, including cannabis, tranquillisers, methadone and tramadol.

Ms Latham added: 'I got the shock of my life when these things turned up in her system. I was absolutely shocked, I nearly hit the floor.

'She wasn't well, it was because she was depressed that she drank and took drugs. She wasn't a druggie, she's no less than any other person.'

The court also heard how shortly after 9am on the day of her death, Jenna had been arrested outside her flat for being drunk and disorderly.

She was taken into custody at Clifford Street police station, Newcastle, where she was held for around five hours.

Her mother feared the 21-year-old had fallen in with some 'dodgy' people

The custody officer requested Jenna be strip-searched after she claimed she had taken a range of drugs including heroin, methadone and crack cocaine.

The search proved negative but during the process she told a woman officer she was going to hurt herself.

She was made a 'level three' prisoner which means she was being continually monitored on CCTV as well as having regular visits to her cell.

Later that day, she went to her mother's flat at St Peter's Basin to recover her mobile phone which Ms Latham had taken from Jenna's home.

St Peter's Basin in Newcastle, where Jenna died after falling from the balcony of her mother's flat

Ms Latham recalled Jenna turning up to her flat in an agitated state, kicking at the door to the communal entrance.

The worried mother said she phoned the police officer who had dealings with Jenna, who told her to keep her there until she arrived.

As this was happening someone from the block let Jenna in and she came up to her mother's home.

After initially being worked up about her mobile phone, Ms Latham managed to calm her and she sat down.

The buzzer to the flat went and she went to quietly let the officer in without letting Jenna know who it was.

Accolades: Jenna had recently received top marks in a performing arts course

But when the officer came into the house Jenna became agitated once again.

Ms Latham explained to the court: 'Jenna went straight over the balcony, when I came into the living room she was already getting her second leg over the railings.

'She was holding on facing me and I knew by the look on her face she wasn't well.

'I couldn't believe what I was seeing so I eased myself forward and was looking at her and when I got in reach of Jenna I reached to grab her arm.

The court heard she suffered severe injuries to the brain and spine and her death would have been almost instantaneous

'When I did this she lifted her arm and as she took the hand off her footing went.'

She tried desperately to grab her daughter again but it was too late and Jenna fell to
the ground below.

Pathologist Nigel Kirkham confirmed that she auffered severe injuries to the brain and spine and
her death would have been almost instantaneous.

He said the cause of death had been due to multiple injuries sustained at a time when Jenna had been intoxicated with alcohol and had taken other drugs.