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Newquay chef Gregg Johnson died of ecstasy overdose on night out

By CG_Steve  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

Truro Coroner's Court, based at City Hall

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A YOUNG chef from Newquay died after taking two ecstasy “bombs” and cocaine on a night out with friends, an inquest heard this morning.

Gregg Johnson, 21, a music lover who lived and worked at the Sands Resort, collapsed in the Library bar on Bank Street in the early hours of Sunday, July 28, last year.

He and pal Sam Shepherd had taken drugs at another friend’s house on Tower Road before heading into town to see popular DJ Lisa Pin-Up.

A club doorman took Gregg outside, where he began to suffer seizures, before paramedics rushed him to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

He died at 5.30am due to an overdose of ecstasy, also known as MDMA, with cocaine use said to be a contributing factor.

Paying tribute to his son at Truro Coroner’s Court, Gregg’s father Brian said: “Gregg was a fantastic son and liked by everyone. He was funny and gentle and will be greatly missed.”

Described as having “scruffy, dyed red hair and punk clothes”, Gregg was said to be a keen darts player and surfer, and loved drawing in the style of Japanese comics. He also once played in an award-winning brass band.

The court heard that Gregg and Sam had arrived at the house of Matt Keverne at around 10pm. The pair took cocaine before swallowing ecstasy bombs – MDMA wrapped in cigarette paper - on the way to the town centre.

Gregg was reported to be having a good time dancing at the club, although he was sweating heavily and his eyes were rolling.

He sat down on a sofa – but when he tried to stand up he stumbled into a table and was helped down the stairs to the street by doorman Edmund Salais.

Once outside, Mr Salais realised the severity of the situation and called the emergency services, while putting Gregg in the recovery position.

He was helped by another clubber, Sarah Peel, who had first aid experience and held Gregg’s hand until paramedics arrived.

Sam and Matt, who had briefly returned to Matt’s house, only realised their friend was in trouble when they saw a crowd gathered around him on the pavement when they returned to the Library.

Paying tribute to his friend, Matt said: “Gregg was a very funny person; he told lots of jokes. He was obsessed with playing darts and he loved loud rock music.”

Coroner Emma Carlyon recorded a verdict of accidental death. The cause of death was said to be "MDMA overdose with cocaine utilisation".

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  • josdave  |  January 21 2014, 11:05PM

    While relatives and friends deserve every sympathy the fact remains that this was self inflicted. In the words of the song "When will they ever learn?"

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  • shagrats  |  January 21 2014, 2:37PM

    Sweating heavily, this is the most common way of getting into trouble when taking MDMA, you forget to drink you dehydrate, and you colapse. Could this life have been saved by little more than a few bottles of water while he was dancing. I can remember in my mis spent youth that bars and clubs used to deliberately turn the taps down to force kids to buy over priced bottles of water. This put peoples lives in danger. If you must do this sort of thing drink plenty and plenty of water.