Aber second year took almost six times more than a lethal dose of MDMA, inquest hears

Torin and Jacques Lakeman were found dead two days after being reported missing

A coroner is contacting the Home Secretary and has slammed the “easy access” of home delivery drugs an Aberystwyth second year and his trainee chef brother died taking ecstasy. 

Astrophysics undergraduate Torin Lakeman, 19, was discovered alongside his brother Jacques, 20, after having the drugs delivered to their house.

A court heard Torin had ordered the drugs from the dark web so the siblings could “have a good weekend”.

But he was found dead in a hotel room after taking almost six times more than a lethal dose of MDMA.

Astrophysics undergrad Torin Lakeman, right

Astrophysics undergrad Torin Lakeman, right

The siblings, from the Isle of Man, had travelled to watch Manchester United play Hull City at Old Trafford on November 29 last year and spent the day drinking before taking the stash of ecstasy.

Their bodies were found two days later in room five at The Grapes pub in Stoneclough, Gtr Mancs., after two missing persons reports had been filed.

A coroner at Bolton Coroners’ Court today recorded a verdict of misuse of ecstasy.

The coroner slammed the way “intellectual people are able to access drugs in this way”, adding how he he would be sharing his concerns with the Home
Secretary.

The Grapes pub in Bolton, where the Lakeman brothers' bodies were discovered

The Grapes pub in Bolton, where the Lakeman brothers’ bodies were discovered

A post mortem on Jacques body found him to have 6.15mg per litre of MDMA in his body – almost six times the amount considered recreational of 0.3mg.

He also had 229mg of alcohol in his blood – an amount that is nearly three times the drink drive limit.

His brother Torin was found to have 7.08mg of ecstasy in his body during a post mortem, while his blood alcohol levels were lower at 87mg.

Jacques Lakeman, Torin's brother

Jacques Lakeman, Torin’s brother

Pathologist Dr Patrick Ward told the inquest that a lethal limit of ecstasy is an average of 1.7mg.

He said: “If a person is not using it on a regular basis the impact may be greater. In batches of any drug there are different levels of toxicity.

“They could have taken the same amount but the concentration could have been different. I would anticipate they took the same amounts each.”

Torin’s housemate Ethan Bradley said his friend had ordered the MDMA over the internet in preparation for his visit to Manchester.

He said: “Torin took drugs. He took MDMA on separate occasions.

“Mainly he wanted to get a kick. It was an occasional thing, not in terms
of an addiction.

“He told me he was going to try and get some drugs to have a good weekend. He was trying to obtain drugs for him and his brother.

“He looked on the dark web which can’t be accessed through a normal web browser.”

Torin Lakeman, who was in second year

Torin Lakeman, who was in second year

Mr Bradley, who met Torin in their first week at Aberystwyth University in September 2013 when they both joined the hiking club, told the coroner Torin bought both MDMA and amphetamine through a website called “Agora”, from a vendor known as “Stone Island”.

On the evening he was in Manchester, he sent a text message to Mr Bradley checking the amount of MDMA he had bought, telling him it felt more like 1g than the 2g he’d purchased.

The inquest heard how the brothers met in Manchester before checking into the Grapes pub where they began drinking.

Landlord William Pilkington later saw them in the bar and described them as being “on something else”, other than alcohol.

Detective Inspector Joanne Clawson from Greater Manchester Police said CCTV from a local shop caught them buying two bottles of WKD and a packet of chewing gum which they took back to their hotel. The alcohol was never consumed.

Torin was the last to be seen when he came down from their room at around 9.30pm to ask for the pub’s WiFi password.

Sadly, both Torin and Jacques’ bodies were found on Monday morning, when pub worker Michael Lawrence went to the room they had been staying in, to clean it.

Mr Lawrence told the inquest: “I went into room five and saw one of the males on the floor in the room.

“At that stage I didn’t see the other one.

“My colleague went into the room and found the body of the other male on the far side of the bed that would have been hidden from view.

“I was asked to check by police whether there was any evidence of tablets or drugs or anything untoward and I didn’t see anything.”

Their father, Raymond Lakeman who travelled from the Isle of Man for the hearing, told the inquest that the pair was more like “best friends” than brothers, and said they were “very, very close.”

He said: “They were brothers so they had fallings out but on the whole they got on as best friends.

“They wanted to go and watch Manchester United play Hull City. I booked the tickets and sent them over with two football shirts for them.

“It was the first time they had ever done anything together like this. They didn’t know anybody in Manchester. They were looking forward to seeing each other.

“My wife and I were happier than we had been for weeks and months and years.”

Ray Lakeman, the boys' father, arriving at court

Ray Lakeman, the boys’ father, arriving at court

Jacques, a victim of bullying at school, had moved to Chirwell, London to live with his grandmother and was training to be a chef, while his younger brother Torin was in his second year at Aberystwyth.

Coroner Alan Walsh said he believed they had travelled to Manchester to “enjoy the football match together”, and remarked that Manchester United had won 3-0.

He said: “They had a great day which makes the tragedy of these deaths even greater to accept.

“There was concern as to the quality and quantity of ecstasy in terms of concentration and that may well have been a factor in terms of the ultimate impact.

“They were likely to be tablet form but when they were taken and where taken is unknown.

“MDMA is known as ecstasy and I accept there were sufficient quantities in the blood to cause death.”

Torin and his brother had gone to Manchester to watch United play Hull City

Torin and his brother had gone to Manchester to watch United play Hull City

The coroner recorded their cause of death as fatal MDMA toxicity.

But he slammed the way “intellectual people are able to access drugs in this way”, and said he would be sharing the results of the inquest and his concerns
with the Home Secretary.

He said: “They (the drugs) were obtained by use of the internet and the drugs were received by him (Torin) by an unknown source on the dark web.

“He obtained these drugs and brought them from Aberystwyth to Manchester.

“The dark Internet identifies an anonymous supplier and suppliers who are existing behind the veil, a confidential sophisticated veil.

“I’m well aware it’s a global problem and there may be little that can be done to avoid these supply lines being used.

“That to me as a father and a grandfather is a frightening prospect.

“I believe that to give knowledge to the enforcement agencies to be shared internationally is important.”

More
Aberystwyth University national noad