Inquest into death of Jeromie Lewis after he drank drin klaced with cocaine adjourned

Jeromie Lewis

Jeromie Lewis

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

An inquest into the death of a Hampshire man who drank from a bottle of fruit juice laced with cocaine has been adjourned to a later date.

Royal Navy veteran Jeromie Lewis died just hours after celebrating his daughter’s third birthday when he was taken ill.

Family barrister Fiona Canby spoke at Southampton coroners court to request a jury and to hear evidence from another witness who wasn't listed for today's hearing.

Mrs Canby said: "While Mrs Lewis is anxious that this matter is dealt with quickly as possible, she wants this to be dealt with properly."

The family of the 33-year-old want to speak to Juanette Allen who provided a police statement but was not requested to attend.

Central Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short said he would consider the proposal and adjourned the inquest to a later date.

The delivery driver, who lived in Kings Road Gosport became ill immediately after unwittingly drinking a Cole Cold Pear-D juice bottle contaminated with a lethal amount of the drug.

He died on December 5 last year, just hours after he celebrated his daughter's third birthday.

Mr Lewis had been working at his employer’s lock-up garage in Bitterne when he drank the juice.

His death prompted a nationwide appeal to traders from the Food Standards Agency to withdraw the drink, which is produced by Trinidad and Tobago-based firm SM Jaleel, in the Caribbean.

Five people were also arrested after hid death on suspicion of supplying a Class A drug though no further action was taken.

Police investigations led to the arrest of a 33-year-old London man. They also arrested two men, aged 37 and 38, and a 37-year-old woman, all from Southampton, and a 39-year-old London man.

The drugs are thought to have come through Portsmouth and neither Mr Lewis nor his colleagues are thought to be involved with the supply of the drug.

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