A man died after unwittingly drinking liquid cocaine concealed in a rum bottle...
(BBC News, UK) Lascell Malcolm, 63, a father of two, accepted the bottle as a gift from a friend who did not realise she had been used as a drugs mule, jurors were told.
Martin Newman, 50, is alleged to have given the bottle to Antoinette Corlis who flew into Gatwick in May 2009.
Mr Newman, of Romford, Essex, denies manslaughter and importation of drugs at Croydon Crown Court.
(6/5/09) A father of two collapsed and died in front of his son after drinking pure liquid cocaine which had been disguised as a bottle of rum he had been given by a friend, a court heard. Mini-cab driver Lascelle Malcolm, 63, of Haringey, was given the St Lucian Bounty rum as a thank-you for picking up a friend from the airport after a holiday trip to the Caribbean island.
On Wednesday the court was told Ms Corlis and her friend, Michael Lawrence, met Mr Newman as they checked in for a flight from St Lucia to Gatwick.
The pair agreed to carry two bottles of Bounty rum after Mr Newman claimed he had exceeded his baggage allowance.
But on arrival at Gatwick, Mr Newman was held up by customs officials, and Mr Lawrence, who was due to catch a connecting flight to Switzerland, gave one of the bottles to Ms Corlis, who was collected by Mr Malcolm.
When Mr Malcolm, a taxi driver, refused to accept payment for the journey, Ms Corlis gave him the bottle instead.
The following day, Mr Malcolm died of a heart attack caused by cocaine poisoning.
The reason for Mr Malcolm's death did not come to light until grieving relatives decided to drink a toast after discovering the bottle at his home.
Sept. 29 (2009): Anti-narcotics chemists inspect cans of artichokes containing liquid cocaine in Lima, Peru. More than four tons of liquid cocaine hidden inside of artichoke cans were confiscated. (Janine Costa-Reuters)
Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting, said Mr Malcolm's nephew, Charles Roach, and friend, Trevor Tugman, spat out the liquid but collapsed a short time later and were rushed into intensive care at Middlesex Hospital in London.
Mr Glasgow said: "It did not take long for people to identify the defendant's bottle of Bounty rum as the source of the cocaine poisoning that all three victims had sustained.
"Subsequent analysis of the contents of the bottle established that 246g [8.7oz] of cocaine had been dissolved into the rum, which resulted in a mixture of such toxicity that a teaspoonful could kill anyone who consumed it."
Jurors were told that police contacted Mr Lawrence in Switzerland, urging him to hand in the bottle of cocaine.
Mr Glasgow said two more passengers from St Lucia had also brought bottles into the UK but charges against them were dropped.
No evidence was heard on Thursday because of legal argument.
The case continues.
WeN2K Commentary It is amazing to know that one teaspoon of this stuff could kill a person. Is THIS the/a new and burgeoning technique that will be increasingly utilized in the future of drug-smuggling? And, unlike Marijuana, cocaine will NEVER pervasively be made legal and will always be trafficked illegally one way or the other...as there will always be a "recreational" demand. Should we be worrying about similar, haphazard accidents happening more and more in our ever-changing, SHRINKING world? Or should we be even MORE concerned with other powerful toxins that may be purposely delivered via our commercial drinks or drinking water...in a mass, orchestrated, biological terror attack?
On a lighter note...and Not to disrespect the unfortunate individuals involved in these accidents or make a shallow joke (after researching "liquid cocaine")...but it would have been much better if the "drink" in these cases really had been...