Brunch trip leaves friend group 'anxious' after spiking fears

Ipswich women reporting to police a drinks spiking incident in Shoreditch, London

Ipswich women report a drinks spiking incident in Shoreditch, London - Credit: Supplied by Chanel McKenzie

A fun birthday brunch trip to London turned into a "nightmare" after two Ipswich women needed emergency care following a suspected spiking attack.

Beth Smith and Amber David had gone to a Shoreditch bar with friends for bottomless brunch at around 3pm on Saturday, October 9.

That same evening, Ms Smith ended up in hospital and Ms David almost required CPR. 

Ms David, 24, said she could not remember the night, adding; "I suffer from anxiety and I start welling up when I think about it."

The two women, who are in their early 20s, were both fine and a little tipsy at the brunch with the group deciding to go to another bar.

Beth Smith and Amber David

Beth Smith and Amber David both claim they were spiked in Shoreditch, London - Credit: Supplied by Chanel McKenzie

As it was full, both Ms Smith and Ms David had to sit at the bar and after one drink reported feeling unwell.  News Two Ipswich women spiked in London

Friend Chanel McKenzie, 21, said the two women became very unsteady on their feet so the group had to hold the women up.

Ms McKenzie alongside Josie Brett said it was clear that going out anywhere else in London would be dangerous. 

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"We were very vulnerable," Ms McKenzie said; "She [Amber] looked dead at times and all I remember thinking is I have no idea what to do."

They went to Liverpool Street Station to get back to Ipswich.

Chanel McKenzie and Josie Brett

Josie Brett and Chanel McKenzie on Saturday, October 9 in London. - Credit: Supplied by Chanel McKenzie

At the station, the women were seen by friends scratching at their bodies, bent over with Ms David becoming unconscious, and then suddenly becoming very angry. 

"Amber was sick on herself and Bethany was screaming," Ms Brett added. 

They rang for the ambulance service and their behaviour was also reported to police, who attended. 

Due to delays with ambulances attending other incidents in the area, the group of women were advised by emergency services to get their two friends home on the train.

Ms David and Ms Smith's erratic behaviour caused concern and the group had to depart the train. 

"Amber collapsed, fell face forward after sitting there on the ground by the train," Ms McKenzie said; "A first responder attended and could not find a pulse so they called for a defibrillator and was hitting Amber's cheeks. 

"He was now about to start mouth to mouth and this is when Amber was sick so then she was put in the recovery position. 

"We then had to ask Liverpool Street staff to bring a wheelchair. 

"We couldn't get on a train, no Uber was going to take us in this state and we couldn't get an ambulance."

A London Ambulance Service spokesman attended London Liverpool Street at 4.45pm. 

The service was later contacted and advised an ambulance was no longer required.

A spokeswoman for British Transport Police said: "Officers were called to Liverpool Street station shortly after 5pm on 9 October following a report of two unwell people. They were checked over by a nearby doctor and became well enough to continue their journey.”

Ms Smith was taken to Basildon University Hospital by her parents and hospitalised until the next day at 3am.

Ms David, and her friends were collected by her family, arriving home at 11pm.

Both the two women attended Ipswich Hospital on Monday, October 11 after the spiking. 

The scare has led the eight friends to start a petition calling for action against spiking.

Ms McKenzie, 21, said: "This is the worst experience I've ever had. 

"We don't want to go out anymore and enjoy ourselves because we think our drinks will be spiked and no one will help us again."

Ms Brett, 25, said the "horror" she saw her friends go through was a "nightmare" and has really stayed with her. 

She added: "I am quite anxious and frightened. 

"I do not really want to go out."

In recent weeks, there have been several incidents of women being spiked by injection in Nottingham, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Concerns have led to a petition by students across the UK.

Suffolk police are yet to receive a report of injection spiking. A  Freedom of Information (FoI) in 2019  showed there have been nine incidents of drink spiking reported in the county up to September with six in 2018.

In total, 35 incidents were reported since 2015, 77% of the victims (27) were women. 

Spiking drinks can lead to up to 10 years in prison - or even higher if other offences such as rape, robbery or assault has taken place.

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