Lauren Biddle: US polo star, 22, died of drug overdose at spa party in New Zealand as owner refused to call cops
The 22-year-old died at a pool party in the Christchurch suburb of Clifton after she was allegedly given ecstasy by the home owner who refused to call emergency services after she collapsed
A US polo star player, 22-year-old Lauren Mikaila Biddle, who died at a pool party at a house in Christchurch suburb of Clifton, was allegedly given ecstasy by the home owner who refused to call emergency services after she collapsed. The accused, 39-year-old Joseph Douglas McGirr, is standing trial at Christchurch District Court after he denied giving MDMA to Biddle and a friend, Guy Higginson, on October 22, 2018, according to the New Zealand Herald.
McGirr, a civil engineer from Christchurch, who is also accused of hiding Biddle's clothing in bushes after her demise, has reportedly denied attempting to pervert the course of justice. Crown prosecutor, Kerry White, on Monday, November 16, said that the incident was "a small social gathering that went horribly, tragically wrong," 9 News reported. The attendees at the party were reportedly drinking beer, bourbon, rum, and smoking cannabis in McGirr's spa pool, which is also known as a hot tub.
Higginson, Biddle's former boyfriend and a North Canterbury professional polo player, told the court that McGirr gave him and Biddle three lines of ecstasy, which they snorted off a breadboard. The trio reportedly took the drugs after other guests at the party had left. Higginson added that the next thing he remembered was standing near the pool, asking: "What the f*** did you give me?" To which McGirr allegedly replied: "Just E, man."
The polo player told the court that he felt like it was "going to explode." He said: "I've never felt like that in my life… and I don't know what happened after that." Higginson said that he returned to the spa after a while and told McGirr that Biddle was dead. The player added that he pulled Biddle out of the pool before attempting to resuscitate her.
Higginson recalled that when he told McGir to call an ambulance, the house owner allegedly replied: "F*** off. The police aren't coming around here." The engineer allegedly told Higginson: "You've got to take her somewhere else." The polo player then put Biddle in his car and drove to the top of McGirr's driveway, where he called the emergency services. Although parademics attempted to revive Biddle, she was pronounced dead on the roadside at 1:20 am.
Defense counsel, Rupert Glover, however, refuted Higginson's version of events, calling it a "reconstruction, not recollection." The counsel said that defendant had one "party pill" before Higginson and Biddle consumed two more. The defense also alleged that it was McGirr who pulled Biddle out of the pool and attempted to resuscitate her.
Reports state that after Higginson left with Biddle to call the emergency services, McGirll allegedly gathered Biddle's belongings and threw them over a balcony into some bushes below his house, according to 9 News. Prosecutors have stated that McGirr appeared nearly two hours after Biddle was pronounced dead and told police what he had done with the star player's belongings. The court heard that Biddle was had over four times the alcohol content in her body than the drink driving limit and the concentration of MDMA in her body was 15 times greater than the "normal recreational use" of the drug. Biddle's cause of death was determined as most likely a drug overdose, causing a sudden cardiac arrest.