University of Leeds student's drug death 'avoidable'

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Receiving medical help earlier could have saved a dental student who died after taking a 'cocktail' of Class A drugs, an inquest has heard.

Mariam Ali Shaabam Hussain Khesroh, 24, was found dead on 10 April, Harrogate. She had taken ketamine and heroin.

The inquest heard she developed breathing difficulties, but was left for at least one-and-a-half hours before an ambulance was called.

Coroner Geoff Fell said her death could have been avoided.

Start Quote

"The two people in her company were aware of her troubled breathing... but no medical assistance was sought”

End Quote Det Sgt Steve Menzies North Yorkshire Police

He said: "As this tragic case highlights, time is a crucial factor in cases involving the misuse of drugs and any delay in calling for medical assistance can mean the difference between life and death."

He added that, since 2007, North Yorkshire Police was no longer called to reports of drug overdoses, unless in exceptional circumstances, to allow people to call for help without fearing a criminal investigation.

Miss Kherosh, from Kuwait, had travelled to Harrogate to celebrate completing her final dentistry exams at the University of Leeds.

'Talented young life'

Det Sgt Steve Menzies said: "The two people in her company were aware of her troubled breathing after she took a cocktail of drugs but no medical assistance was sought.

"Mariam was dragged to the rear of the building and left behind some bins. There was a further one-and-a-half hour delay before an ambulance was called."

Mr Fell, assistant coroner for North Yorkshire, recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. No criminal charges were brought in connection with her death.

Det Sgt Menzies said: "Mariam's death could have been avoided and this is a waste of a talented young life."

Miss Kherosh was awarded her degree posthumously and it was collected by a member of her family.

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