19/04/2012 11:25 BST

Coca-Cola Addiction: Natasha Marie Harris May Have Died From Drinking 18 Pints A Day

A mother of eight addicted to soft drink Coca-Cola may have died from her "habit", her partner has told an inquest.

Natasha Marie Harris had been guzzling 18 pints of the fizzy liquid a day, and would go "crazy" if she didn't have Coca Cola with her, the New Zealand inquest heard.

Her partner Christopher Hodgkinson, said she had been ill for almost a year before her death, throwing up regularly and feeling tired, despite drinking lots of the sugary drink.

For eight years the 30-year-old New Zealander had been addicted to the fizzy beverage, the inquest heard, keeping it by her bedside, and drinking it when she woke up in the morning and last thing before she went to sleep.

Hodgkinson said she would get mood swings if she didn't have coke, but he "never considered" it could be the drink causing the problems, believing it to be the stress of looking after her eight children, as well as gynaecological problems.

"I didn't ever think about the Coke. I never considered it would do any harm to a person. It's a soft drink ... I didn't think a drink's going to kill you,'' he said.

Although an autopsy proved that Harris had a diseased liver, the cause of her death in February 2010 was not established.

Hodgkinson said a doctor had told him she had died as a result of heart aneurysm brought on by drinking the fizzy fluid. Although this was not confirmed doctor told the court that Harris had a number of conditions associated with excessive consumption of coca cola.

It was suggested she had severe lack of potassium and said that vomiting was consistent was caffeine toxicity, or too much caffeine.

Coca Cola said it had to hire a security firm in June 2010, alleging that Hodgkinson had levelled death threats against staff at the company following his partner's death.

Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand managing director George Adams said that any suggestion Coca Cola had caused Harris's death was "patently untrue."

The inquest continues.