'Cowardly' friends refuse to cooperate with police following death of 19-year-old who took drugs with them for the first time
19-year-old son Joshua, a mechanical engineer, suffered from an episode of fits on a street in Leeds after he badly reacted to taking ecstasy and cocaine for the first time
A heartbroken father released a shocking last image of his son in a hospital bed moments before he died from an adverse reaction to ecstasy and cocaine after taking them for the first time with his friends. Gareth Edwards posted a photo of his 19-year-old son Joshua at the St. James' Hospital in Leeds to raise awareness about the horrifying effects of drugs. The father hopes the photo will prevent other families from going through the same trauma. The Wakefield Coroner's Court heard that young mechanical engineer had suffered from an episode of fits on a street in Leeds after he badly reacted to taking ecstasy and cocaine.
The Daily Mail reported that the authorities seized drugs and also arrested six people who had taken drugs at a particular house in Bramley, Leeds, in the enquiry that took place after Josh's tragic death in 2017.
No family should have to go through what we have. It’s been a long nightmare. Kids, if you think you’re cool or hard by touching drugs, take a look at my 19 year old cousin who had never taken drugs and had one try and it killed him. Just think.... pic.twitter.com/o9JCKc5owP— 𝕵𝖆𝖉𝖊 (@xjadeclark) October 2, 2018
Senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin recorded that the death had been drug-related. He also said that the six people who were arrested were "too cowardly" to cooperate fully with the police inquiry and that they had put their own interests before that of Josh's family.
McLoughlin also said that Josh's death had been a "monumental tragedy". 46-year-old Candace, Josh's mother, told the inquest: "He was up for work at 6am on a morning, he just wasn't a drugs person." Candace spoke about the harrowing ordeal her family has been though and said: "When I got to the hospital and they told me it was drugs I couldn't believe it. He didn't deserve that tragic end. It was horrendous."
She also said that Josh had been a family-oriented and hard working son and that she had not seen any indication of him having experimented with drugs.
In a statement at the inquest, Josh's father Gareth said: "Josh was a dream son and we are immensely proud of him. After school he got an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer and was thriving."
The authorities had been called to Victoria Park Avenue in Bramley at about 12 pm on May 14, 2017, when one member of the public spotted Josh having a seizure and falling on the pavement. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he suffered a heart attack in the A&E department. He also suffered from multiple problems like internal bleeding and multiple organ failure. He died shortly after 9 am on May 15. This was a week before he was to celebrate his 20th birthday.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Watts has said that the authorities believe that the six people who were arrested have "protected themselves" instead of giving the police the entire story of what happened. She said: "We are of the opinion this is the first time Josh has ever used and it has had the fatal outcome."
McLoughlin said: "His body's reaction to the poison involved has cost him his life. It's a monumental tragedy for his family." He criticized the people who refuse to cooperate with the police by saying: "They have chosen to put their interests in front of helping a family understand what happened. It would appear they have been too cowardly to cooperate with the police. If you take ecstasy or cocaine you must recognise that it may cost you your life."