Death Found to be From a Mix of Chemicals

An 18-year-old university student from Northern Ireland who was found dead on her first night at university after taking a lethal combination of ketamine and alcohol was told, “This is how we do it in England”, a coroner’s court heard.

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Jeni Larmour, from Newtown hamilton, died hours after arriving at Newcastle University in October 2020, having taken ketamine given to her “by another” as part of what the coroner ruled was a case of misadventure.

The former deputy head girl took the tranquilliser with new flatmate Kavir Kalliecharan, 20, who told the coroner he was referring to the English university experience and had no intention of harming her.

Coroner Karen Dilks said there was no evidence that Kalliecharan had supplied the drug to Larmour and ruled her death an accident.

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Larmour’s family paid tribute to their “smiley, intelligent” daughter, saying she had “the world at her feet”.

“Jeni was a beautiful person, inside and out. She loved life and lived it to the full,” they said in a statement in court.

The inquest heard that Larmour arrived at Newcastle University on October 12, 2020, to start her studies in environmental science.

She went out drinking with Kalliecharan and other friends that evening and ended up back at their flat, where they took ketamine, the court heard.

Kalliecharan told police he had been given the drug by another student and said he thought it was cocaine.

He said he took “a few lines” of the powder before giving some to Larmour, who sniffed it through a rolled-up bank note.

The court heard that Kalliecharan then went to bed, leaving Larmour awake and apparently under the influence of the drug.

When he woke up the next morning, Kalliecharan found her lying on her back on the floor with vomit around her mouth.

She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead shortly afterwards. A post-mortem examination found she had died from the combined effects of ketamine and alcohol.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, coroner Karen Dilks said: “This is an incredibly tragic case.”

She said there was no evidence that Kalliecharan had supplied the drug to Larmour and added: “I am satisfied that his intention was not to harm her.”

Larmour’s family paid tribute to their “smiley, intelligent” daughter, saying she had “the world at her feet”.

“Jeni was a beautiful person, inside and out. She loved life and lived it to the full,” they said in a statement in court.

The coroner praised the “enormous strength and dignity” shown by Larmour’s family during the inquest.

Newcastle University said it was “deeply saddened” by her death and offered its “sincere condolences” to her family and friends.

“The university has well-established policies and procedures to support students and staff, including a comprehensive induction programme for new students,” a spokesman said.

“We work hard to ensure that all our students are aware of the risks associated with drug-taking and alcohol consumption, and we provide extensive support and advice on staying safe.”

Kalliecharan was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug but later released without charge. He declined to comment outside court.

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