A teenager collapsed and died in a hotel room after taking cocaine, ecstasy and laughing gas during a night out with friends, an inquest heard.

Lauren Atkinson was described as a popular 19-year-old who loved raves and festivals, and "lived life to the full."

But the young beautician died in circumstances a coroner described as "every parent's worst nightmare".

Lauren and a group of friends travelled from Ulverston in Cumbria to Manchester for a night out at the Warehouse Project nightclub.

Between Friday and into the early hours of Saturday, December 10, 2016, her friends said she drank vodka, took cocaine, two pink ecstasy pills known as 'Teddy Bears' and inhaled nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas.

She was found unresponsive with her "teeth chattering" and jaw clenched in the bathroom of an apartment the group at rented for the trip, an inquest heard.

Her friends tried to revive Lauren with CPR before the paramedics and first responders from the fire service arrived to take over.

She was declared dead at the apartment that morning.

In a statement read out to Manchester coroner’s court, her father Nigel Atkinson said: "Lauren loved to socialise and lived life to the full.

"She had been to a couple of festivals and loved to party at the weekends."

"Both her mother and I had actively advised her against taking drugs."

At the inquest into her death on Tuesday, Lauren’s friends said she had seemed fine until around 4.30am.

Pal Sophie Jackson, giving evidence in court, said: "She was a bit paranoid.

"She was anxious. She wasn’t complaining she was unwell but she made a comment about everyone looking at her.

"So I said shall we go? And we left around 4.30am to get a taxi."

Lauren left with two friends to get a taxi back to the hotel.

When she got back to the room, she locked herself in the bathroom.

Sophie and another friend, Shannon Mansell, managed to open the door by unlocking it with a knife.

They pulled her up off the floor and put her into bed, the court heard.

“She was complaining there was someone on the balcony, but there wasn’t.

"And she was pulling at her hair trying to get her bobble out so I helped her do it. I then left and went through to the other room to see who was back,” added Ms Jackson.

The girls went across to a separate apartment where their other friends were staying, leaving Lauren in bed.

When another friend went to check on Lauren, she was found on the floor ‘having a fit’.

They managed to put her in one of the beds, but then Lauren stopped breathing and started turning blue, the court heard.

Her friends tried to revive Lauren with CPR before the paramedics and first responders from the fire service arrived to take over.

Despite efforts to save Lauren, she was declared dead at 6.24am on Saturday, December 10.

Giving evidence in court, Lauren’s friend Jake Marston described someone running into the room where he was sleeping shouting Lauren was ‘fitting’.

Her friends described finding Lauren slumped next to a radiator with her ‘teeth chattering’ and jaw ‘clenched’.

Mr Marsden told the court: "It was not normal what she was doing.

"It was quite distinct there was something quite serious going on."

When Lauren stopped breathing and started turning a purple-blue colour, her friends called an ambulance.

Asked by the coroner if the group, in hindsight, should have done something sooner, Mr Marsden added: "We should have rang the ambulance first time.

"We thought she was okay because she came round."

Asked whether it was fair to describe the scene as ‘confusing and chaotic’, Mr Marsden agreed it was.

Toxicologists found evidence of MDMA (ecstasy), MDA (amphetamine) and cocaine in Lauren’s bloodstream after her death.

Under evidence submitted to the court, Dr Emyr Benbow said Lauren’s death was caused by the toxicity of the three drugs.

Fiona Borrill, senior coroner for Manchester, described Lauren’s death as ‘every parent’s worse nightmare’.

Ms Borrill said: "It’s quite clear to me that Lauren was not a habitual user and that this was a recreational use of drugs.

"It’s quite clear to me that you (Mrs Atkinson) and Mr Atkinson had spoken to Lauren about the risks of drug taking."

Ms Borrill described the drugs Lauren had taken as ones that are ‘dangerous and should not be used’.

The coroner added: “It’s quite clear to me Lauren and her friends had underestimated the risks and toxic effects of those drugs.”

She added: “Lauren’s death is a tragedy not only for her family but also for her friends.

"I very much hope that her friends realised that it could have been them and it could have been their inquest that I was dealing with in court today.

"This was a catastrophic conclusion after what should have been a great night out at Warehouse Project.”

Ms Borrill concluded Lauren’s death was drug-related.

Posted Date : May 2, 2018
Ref : Mirror

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