'Gentle giant' from Chessington died after taking ecstasy at two-day festival

Surrey Comet: 'Gentle giant' Richard Baker died after taking ecstasy at two-day festival 'Gentle giant' Richard Baker died after taking ecstasy at two-day festival

A clubber died after taking ecstasy at a two-day dance festival, a coroner has ruled.

Richard Baker, 20, from Chessington, was said to have taken the drug at Alexandra Palace on November 27, last year.

The former Richard Challoner student was taken to Whittington Hospital after he complained to medical staff at the north London venue he was feeling unwell.

He had told a friend that he was unwell earlier in the night but later reassured them he was feeling better.

His friends went into the main music stage and it is then that his condition was said to have deteriorated.

A postmortem examination revealed Mr Baker had died of multiple organ failure, and a high concentration of ecstasy or MDMA was found in his system.

No other drugs, including alcohol, were detected in blood or urine samples, the examination, carried out by Dr Simone Poole, found.

Mr Baker bought the drug before arriving at the venue, filled with up to 20,000 party-goers, Detective Constable Steve Baldwin from Hendon police told the hearing.

Recording a verdict of accidentally death, coroner Andrew Walker said there was no suggestion that the drug had been “forcibly administered”.

Mr Baker’s family did not attend the court because they felt it would be too distressing.

Richard’s father Keith Baker said: “We would just like to say we understand that the inquest is part of the proceedings and it doesn’t really change things for us.

“It is a very tough time for me, his mother and brother, we will still miss him every day. But we feel it is nice to have met the end of this.”

Speaking last December, Richard Challoner headteacher Tom Cahill described the former pupil as “gentle giant”.

He said: “He was a very nice student and very popular with his peers because he had a real sense of humour.

“He was generally a quiet lad. Whenever you saw him he would be in a group with friends with a smile on his face.”

Summing up, the coroner said there was no other “common sense” verdict that could be considered other than accidental death.

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