When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Gosport man Joromie Lewis died after drinking Cole Cold Pear-D fruit drink laced with cocaine in Southampton
A MAN has died after unwittingly drinking a fruit drink which had been laced with a lethal amount cocaine.
Tests have shown that the Cole Cold Pear-D fruit drink contained a lethal amount of cocaine.
The Food Standards Agency today issued an alert to all local authorities to contact retailers to withdraw Pear-D if it is found.
Police now have established that the bottle of Cole Cold Pear-D fruit drink was manufactured in the Caribbean and the company did not export this drink to the UK.
Mr Lewis died on Thursday, December 5, just hours after he consumed a small amount of the beverage.
Police say their enquiries suggest Mr Lewis ingested a small amount of liquid in the belief he was drinking a genuine pear drink.
The delivery driver was at his employer's lock-up garage in the Bitterne area of the city when he saw the drink and took a mouthful, believing it to be a normal beverage.
He was then taken ill and later died in hospital.
A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday, December 7. The results were inconclusive and further enquiries are being carried out in respect of toxicology.
Yesterday, police received laboratory test results which showed that the liquid in the juice bottle contained a lethal amount of cocaine.
No arrests have been made in connection with the death of Mr Lewis.
Detective Superintendent Richard Pearson is leading the police investigation, Operation Crab. He said: “We are working closely with partner agencies [...] to minimise any risk to the public and to investigate the circumstances leading to the tragic death of Mr Lewis.
"We are supporting his family and linking closely with public health departments.
“We have taken clear advice from partner agencies and, in light of the analysis of the contents of the bottle, a decision was made to issue the public alert by the Food Standards Agency.
“Enquiries to date have not identified any further incidents or similar bottles. The investigation suggests that this was likely to be a rogue bottle from a consignment of drugs stored in plastic juice bottles.
"If anyone finds a bottle of Pear D juice like the picture, do not open the bottle. If sealed the bottle is perfectly safe. Take the bottle to the nearest police station, and we will examine the contents if appropriate.”
The Royal Navy veteran, was originally from St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Mr Lewis' wife, Jayrusha has paid tribute to her husband, who was a member of the Bridgemary family church.
She said: "He was a devoted family - oriented man with a selfless attitude to help others, and always knew the right words and advice to give. His exemplary conduct and actions touched the lives and hearts of many."
Anyone who finds they have a bottle of Pear-D should bring it to their local police station and are advised to contact the Food Standards Agency on 020 7276 8448.
Further advice around the risk can be found at food.gov.uk.
Comments are closed on this article.