Three Tyneside students among four dead in weekend drugs fatalities

Northumbria Police are investigating the deaths.


OFFICERS investigating the deaths of three teenagers and a 21-year-old over the weekend have made 10 arrests and carried out searches with drugs dogs.

A large-scale investigation was ongoing today (Monday 5 October) after two 18-year-old women, and two men, aged 18 and 21, were found at addresses over the weekend.

Drugs are suspected to have been a factor in their deaths.

Shortly after 6.05am on Saturday, police received the first report of an ‘unresponsive’ woman at an address in Richardson Road, Newcastle. The 18-year-old, who was a student at Newcastle University, is believed to have taken the horse tranquilliser ketamine and was pronounced dead at the scene.

An 18-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of supplying a Class B drug and has since been released on police bail.

Then, just before 3.50pm on Saturday, police were called to a report of a cardiac arrest at a property on the Coach Road Estate in Washington, where an 18-year-old had reportedly taken MDMA and fallen ill. Officers and paramedics attended, but the man, who is not a university student, was pronounced dead.

Seven people were arrested in connection with this incident and have since been released under investigation.

On Sunday, at 8.13am, police were then alerted to a report that a 21-year-old student from Northumbria University had taken ill at an address in Melbourne Street, Newcastle. He was believed to have taken MDMA and was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.

A 20-year-old male arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs has since been released on police bail.

Then, at around 1.10pm on Sunday, police received a call to the same building in Richardson Road where the first woman was found. A second 18-year-old student had died. It is believed ketamine had been present at the address. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and released on police bail.

Police also carried out a number of room searches at student accommodation with drug dogs, in collaboration with student wellbeing teams at Newcastle University and further patrols will be carried out today.

Chief Inspector Steve Wykes said: “Although our investigations are at an early stage and we continue to establish the circumstances around these tragedies, we want to reiterate our warning to people against taking drugs for recreational use.

“The consequences could cost you your life.

“We will continue to work with both universities and will be increasing our patrols in the areas where these tragedies have occurred.”

He added: “We would urge anyone with any information in relation to these tragedies to come forward – even the smallest piece of information could help us.”

Anyone who has information about the drugs should contact Northumbria Police on 101, quoting references 181 03/10/20 660 03/10/20 222/227 04/10/20, 483 04/10/20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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