Pubdate: October 14, 1999
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1999


A 20-year-old clubber who died after taking an ecstasy and amphetamine
cocktail had taken ecstasy for five nights and had not slept for six, an
inquest was told yesterday.

Elizabeth Wood, a tourist information officer, who was taken ill on the
dance floor of the Cream nightclub in Liverpool on July 11, died of
non-dependent use of drugs after taking a "snowball" ecstasy tablet and
speed, Liverpool coroner's court heard.

Miss Wood's boyfriend, Dermott McGuigan, was fined pounds 250 this month by
Liverpool magistrates after admitting possessing amphetamine and ecstasy on
the night she died and having cannabis resin at his home.

McGuigan's solicitor, David Phillips, told the court: "He now recognises
with painful hindsight that this terrible tragedy could have so easily been
avoided had they not succumbed to the temptation and a desire to take
illegal drugs namely ecstasy and speed."

McGuigan, 24, from Hendre Park, near Caernarfon, north Wales, declined to
give evidence. He had been dating Miss Wood for three months.

The coroner, Andre Rebello, said Miss Wood, from Nazareth, near Caernarfon,
was a casual drug user and not an addict. He hoped lessons would be learned
from her death and recorded a verdict of death by non-dependent abuse of
drugs. He said that, while ecstasy did not kill many, it could cause death
in very small doses.

"I suspect in 10 or 20 years' time a lot of young people will regret having
touched ecstasy," he said. "This is a very dangerous drug that should be
left alone."

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