‘I thought I was going to die’ - Woman feels let down after spiking

18-year-old Morgan Beard sitting with a drink at a bar

18-year-old Morgan Beard was allegedly spiked at the Plough pub in Ipswich two weeks ago - Credit: Morgan Beard

A young woman who believes she was spiked on a night out in Ipswich says she feels "let down" by both bar staff and police, and is sharing her story in the hope of raising awareness. 

Morgan Beard, or Mo as she prefers to be called, was out with a group of her friends at the Plough pub on the night of November 13.

The 18-year-old carer explained that the night was supposed to be a reunion with her and a group of her old friends from college. But the night soon took a sinister turn when she alleges her drink was spiked.  

By 9.30pm Miss Beard was in an ambulance. 

She said: “I ordered a dark fruit pint so there’s not that much alcohol in that at all. The only time I left my drink in the night was when I went to the toilet and came back.  

“We went into the garden area and I just started to feel really sick. I said to myself ‘surely, I can’t feel like this from one drink, maybe I’m just feeling a bit sick or I didn’t eat enough’.  

“I sat down in the chair and I just started being sick everywhere. And then I lost my vision - I couldn’t see anything. I could hear my friends speaking but I couldn’t speak for myself. I had to use hand signals so I could communicate with them.” 

Morgan at a restaurant

Early on in the night Miss Beard started to feel unwell - Credit: Morgan Beard

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Miss Beard says she tried to get help from a support member of staff at the pub, but was told to leave because they thought she was drunk – despite friends trying to explain that something was seriously wrong. 

Miss Beard was then taken to her boyfriend’s flat nearby, which was when things became much more serious. 

She said: “I don’t really remember too much but everyone filled me in. I was just being sick, saying my body was on fire. I thought I was going to die.  

“They had my mum on the phone and I was telling her ‘I love you; I’m going to die’. And that’s when they called the ambulance.” 

It was decided that going to hospital would cause more distress for Miss Beard and she recovered a few days later, but she now feels anxious to go out again.

Miss Beard feels let down by police who haven’t tested her urine sample and have since closed her case, and by the pub whose CCTV in the garden was not working at the time. 

Morgan standing in a living room

A urine sample collected was never tested by police - Credit: Morgan Beard

She hopes that going forward bars and clubs will do more to help alleged spiking victims. 

A spokesperson for the Plough said "Our Guest Support Team Member (wearing neon armbands) is there to assist any guests that are feeling vulnerable or unwell.

"On this occasion, our GSTM approached a group within the garden who was reassured by friends of the young woman that she was in good hands and was being taken home.

"We had no further contact from her until we were made aware of the Facebook post. 

“We treat all allegations of spiking seriously and we have assisted the police in their investigation.

"The safety of our guests and our team, has always been, and remains, our number one priority and we continually review our safety and security procedures to ensure our customers and staff remain safe.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Police can confirm they received a report on 14 November from a female victim of a possible drink spiking in Ipswich.

"A urine sample was retrieved after the reported incident, however due to specific national guidelines and criteria on such cases not being met in this case, the sample was not submitted for further analysis. 

“Following the completion of all proportionate enquires, the case has been closed pending further lines of investigation coming to light. 

“We continue to monitor the situation closely as well as working closely with our partners in the night time economy so they know what to do if they encounter such an incident.” 

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