Northumbria Police issue drug warning in light of two Newcastle students' deaths

Joe Molander on the statements from the police and Chris Day

Joe Molander
5th October 2020
Northumbria Police released a statement on Facebook last night, warning members of the public about the dangers of drugs. The statement follows the news of two Newcastle University students and a Northumbria University student who died over the weekend.

The statement explains that drugs are suspected to have played a role in the deaths of the students, as well as the death of an 18 year old man. Specifically, officers believe ketamine and MDMA may have been involved.

Newcastle University student Jeni Larmour was pronounced dead at the scene at Park View student accommodation early Saturday morning. Officers believe she took ketamine.

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

The next day, another student was found dead, also in Park View, at an address where police "believed ketamine had been present".

Another 18 year old man was then arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug, and has also been released on police bail.

Meanwhile, a 21 year old man - a Northumbria University student - died in hospital on Sunday. He had been taken ill at an address on Melbourne Street, and is believed to have taken MDMA.

A 20 year old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs, and has since been released on police bail.

An 18 year old man at Washington is also believed to have taken MDMA on Saturday; he died after going into cardiac arrest. Seven people were subsequently arrested, who have all been released under investigation.

“Investigations have been launched after two women, both aged 18, and a 21-year-old man died in Newcastle,” the statement from Northumbria Police explains. “An 18-year-old man has also died in Washington.”

Post-mortems are yet to take place, but Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison nevertheless cautioned against drug-taking. He said “The consequences could cost you your life.”

He also offered Northumbria Police’s condolences to the young people’s families and loved ones. He encouraged anyone with information about the supplier of “the drugs in question” to come forward as soon as possible.

The statement from Northumbria Police was released hours after Newcastle University Vice Chancellor Chris Day sent an email out to students, also cautioning against drug-taking. It also warned against alcohol, and mixing the two.

Day explained that students’ safety was in their hands.

"Understand the importance of what I am saying"

Chris Day

“I need you all to read this and understand the importance of what I am saying,” he insisted.

The next day, Day wrote another email confirming the deaths of the two Newcastle University students.

"We are all heartbroken," the email explains, "and our thoughts and condolences are with their families, friends and loved ones at this most difficult of times."

"The loss of these two young lives from our University has been felt acutely across our whole community and the University Executive Team is working closely with the Students’ Union and the Police to understand what support can be put in place."

The email adds "Investigations are still at an early stage and we are supporting the police in every way we can to help them establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths."

Speaking to the Courier, a spokesperson for the University explained "We are devastated to learn of a second death at our University."

They warned that "Students who are found with illegal substances are subject to disciplinary procedures ranging from fines to expulsion from the University."

“Any student who needs help or wants to speak to us about this, please contact the Wellbeing team."

Featured Image: on Flickr

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AUTHOR: Joe Molander
Head of Current Affairs and co-founder of The Toon Lampoon. Politics, interviews, satire and the Courier's leading authority on frosted tips. @JoeMolander on Twitter and full portfolio available on Muckrack.

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