IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Clubber who died on night out had smuggled drug into Fabric

09 January, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Jack Crossley

A TEENAGE clubber died from a fatal dose of MDMA after a night out at Fabric nightclub, an inquest has heard.

Jack Crossley smuggled some of the drug inside his boxer shorts, where security staff are not allowed to search, and bought more inside the Farringdon venue on August 5 last year.

The 18-year-old’s temperature was so high it could not be read by a thermometer and his heart was beating so fast that paramedics could not take an accurate pulse, Poplar Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday.

His death, along with that of 18-year-old Ryan Browne two months earlier, who also bought ecstasy in the club, contributed to its closure by Islington Council.

Childhood friend Joe Ryan said Mr Crossley had taken the drug only twice before. They and another friend with them, Josh Green, were not experienced drug users.

Speaking outside the inquest, Mr Crossley’s uncle, Paul Allum, said: “The last five months have been devastating for all of us to come to terms with Jack’s death.

“At only 18, Jack had his whole life ahead of him, planning his first holiday, getting an apprenticeship in electrics, watching his favourite team Chelsea play, having a beer with his friends at the weekend and spending time with all the family.”

Mr Crossley, a student, bought the drugs from someone he knew in Worcester Park, south London, where he lived, before arriving at Fabric at 11.30pm. Mr Ryan said they were attracted to Fabric because of the music and said it seemed to be “the type of place that accepted drug taking”.

Mr Green said staff did a “quite brief” search around the ankles but nowhere else. He said Mr Crossley ran out of MDMA and bought some more from a stranger at the bar. Mr Crossley and Mr Ryan consumed more drugs, but Mr Green did not. When they sat down around 5.30am the friends noticed that Mr Crossley was “a bit dazed and was not acting like himself”.

As they went to leave, a member of the security team said Mr Crossley did not look well and took him to the medical room. Despite the efforts of medical staff at the club and London Air Ambulance, Mr Crossley died a few hours later at the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel.

A toxicology report showed that the level of MDMA in Mr Crossley’s blood was more than three times the fatal dose. Senior coroner Mary Hassell said he died of acute MDMA toxicity.

“He did what so many other youngsters do without apparent consequences,” she said to Mr Crossley’s family. “He just went out for a night clubbing with his friends and did a foolish thing, as we have all done, and just on this occasion it ended in tragedy.”

She added that a huge part of the problem across the country is that people are unaware of the strength of the drugs they are taking.

Ms Hassell said the problem was not specific to Fabric but that the tension between the criminal justice system and public health was an issue society was “grappling” with. She urged the family, Fabric and the police to come together to try to find ways of promoting safer clubbing, something Mr Crossley’s family have said they are keen to do.

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