Women faking being spiked to cover up drug use, says boss of Doncaster pub O’Donegan’s
A South Yorkshire pub boss says some women claiming to have been spiked are faking it for social media attention and covering up drug use.
There have been numerous reports of young women being ‘needle spiked’ – injected with drugs without their knowledge – in the region’s pubs and clubs over the last few weeks, as well as several reports of people having drinks spiked.
And the owner of a Doncaster bar says that while he accepts that some cases are genuine, he believes many others are posting spiking stories for social media attention and to cover up use of illegal drugs.
Chris Coughlan, who runs Irish bar O’Donegan’s on Hall Gate, says Facebook posts about spiking are leaving people afraid to come out – and are having an impact on the town’s night life scene.
He said: “I don’t doubt for one minute that there are many cases of people being genuinely spiked out there.
"But at the same time, I believe many are simply faking it for social media attention and to divert attention away from their use of drugs.
"I’ve seen people go into toilets, take drugs and come out a few minutes later and they are all over the place.
"Rather than admit to their family and friends that they are on drugs or might have a problem, it’s easier to come out and say they’ve been spiked.”
Mr Coughlan says he has seen CCTV footage of female customers placing tablets in their own mouths – and then claiming being spiked to door staff.
He says that often, incidents are only flagged up on social media – and not reported to pubs and clubs for staff to investigate.
He added: “It is obviously very sad for those who have genuinely been spiked. But I believe a lot aren’t genuine.
"People are embarrassed to say they’ve had a bad reaction to drink or drugs so they will say they have been spiked.
"All the talk of spiking is hitting the pub trade in Doncaster hard – we’re getting a proper going over. We don’t want people to be scared.”
Last week, police confirmed they were investgating three confirmed cases of needle spiking in Doncaster – although South Yorkshire Police bosses were awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
There were unconfirmed reports of seven women reportedly being needle spiked in Doncaster town centre on the weekend before last, with more incidents reported last weekend.
None of the women who say they have been spiked have so far spoken publicly about their ordeal.
In recent months, there have been numerous reports from across the country of young women being jabbed with needles – said to contain sedative drugs – while on nights out.
Police in Leeds, Nottingham and Edinburgh are all reportedly investigating cases.
Meanwhile, a number of women in Doncaster have reported blackouts, uncontrolled vomiting, illness and hospital visits after being spiked in the town’s bars.
Anyone with information about drink spiking can contact South Yorkshire Police on 101.