Boy, 16, died after drug at party

Liam Gill and his mum Sheena Clarke.
Liam Gill and his mum Sheena Clarke.
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A teenager who died from a dangerous drug at a birthday party may have taken a spiked drink intended for someone else, a Doncaster inquest heard.

Liam David Gill keeled over in the back garden of his friend, Thomas Payling, who was celebrating his 15th birthday at his home in Wadworth Street, Denaby Main, and could not be revived by paramedics or hospital doctors.

Six people were arrested in connection with the 16-year-old’s death in September 2012, but there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution for drugs supply, detectives told Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy.

Liam was known to have used cannabis and amphetamine but had no previous history of taking MCAT, also known as Meow-Meow, a previously legal high which was made illegal in 2010.

Because mephedrone is a relatively new drug little is known about its effects but Home Office pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said it would cause increased blood pressure and an irregular heart rhythm. “People just suddenly have a reaction to it. It’s difficult to say why people have a reaction to it and others don’t. In my opinion that is by far the most likely cause of death.”

One of those arrested, Michael Tierney, denied rumours in Denaby Main that he had created a cocktail of drugs that had led to Liam’s death.

Det Sgt Paul Dickinson said Tierney said he had not supplied any drugs to Liam, of Crags Road, but referred to ‘a cocktail of drugs being prepared for Andrew Collindridge as some kind of joke to spike Collindridge, and somehow this has come into the possession of Liam, presumably in a drink, so he wouldn’t know the full nature of what he was taking’.

Collindridge, elder brother of Thomas Payling, said he knew nothing of a cocktail of drugs and denied supplying anyone at the party.

Another officer, Det Con Lisa Birdsall, said: “We have not been able to prove who had drugs in their possession so wouldn’t be able to bring criminal charges.”

The coroner reached a narrative conclusion that Liam died from ingesting mephedrone and ‘it remains uncertain whether he knowingly ingested’ it.