May 25 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Thursday, July 19, 2012
A clubber feared poisoned by a rogue batch of ecstasy during a dance event at Alexandra Palace died of a simple overdose, an inquest heard yesterday.
Lloyd Jones, 21, collapsed and died after taking the drug during a rave at the Palace on November 26 last year.
Another raver, 20-year-old Richard Baker, from Chessington, Surrey, collapsed and died at the same venue the next night.
The men’s deaths sparked a drugs alert from police amid fears a lethal batch of contaminated ecstasy was circulating in the area.
But an inquest at North London Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard post-mortem and toxicology results pointed to a straight overdose.
Dr Simon Poole, who conducted the post-mortem, concluded the cause of death was the toxic effects of MDMA - the powdered form of the potent party drug - and that he had suffered multiple organ failure as a result.
Traces of MDMA, caffeine, and possible amphetamines were found in his body, toxicologist Dr Dawn Reed told the inquest - but no alcohol.
The court heard Mr Jones was likely to have picked up the class A substance inside the venue.
Det Sgt Steve Baldwin, who investigated the death, said: “We looked at every part of the actual music event itself, and one of the strands was to speak to all of Mr Jones’ friends who attended the event with him. Basically, it is believed he bought the drugs from inside the event.”
He lost touch with his friends inside and when they later met “it was clear something was wrong”, he added.
Mr Jones, of Thornhurst Avenue, Oswestry, Shropshire, was rushed to The Whittington Hospital in Archway, north London, but died in the early hours of the morning.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Andrew Walker said it was likely Mr Jones had died as the result of an overdose, rather than taking tainted drugs.
Pally staff and organisers Lock’N’Load Events were absolved of all blame in a report earlier this year to Palace trustees.
After his death, Mr Jones’ family issued a statement warning others against illegal drug use, which read: “We ask anyone thinking of taking any illegal substances to refrain, even under duress from peer pressure, or to contact a support agency.”