Toxicology reports rule out recently-banned drug as a factor in sudden death of 17-year-old Carmen Marie Moulton
The banned drug mephedrone did not play a part in the sudden death of a 17-year old girl from Cumbria, police said today.
Carmen Marie Moulton was found dead at a house in Penrith on 17 April, the day after mephedrone was listed as a class B illegal substance.
At the time, police revealed they were investigating whether Moulton had taken the drug and if it contributed to her death.
They arrested three men, aged 19, 31 and 41, and a 16-year-old girl, all from Penrith, on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs, but they were released on bail pending further enquiries.
Toxicology reports showed that mephedrone, also known as meow meow or M-cat, was not to blame. The findings will be passed to the coroner, who will hold an inquest.
Cumbria police said: "We can confirm that we are not treating Miss Moulton's death as mephedrone-related." Moulton's mother, Michelle Hodgson, said her daughter, who lived on Tyne Close Terrace, was caring and "full of life".
The drug, which is often sold as plant fertiliser, was designated an illegal class B substance after legislation was controversially rushed through parliament before the general election.
It is now in the same category as amphetamines and cannabis.
Mephedrone gained national prominence following the deaths of Scunthorpe teenagers Louis Wainwright, 19, and Nicholas Smith, 18, which police said at the time were linked to the drug. This prompted several newspapers to call for mephedrone to be outlawed, but toxicology tests subsequently showed that the two men had not taken it.
Consultant veterinary surgeon Dr Polly Taylor and charity worker Eric Carlin resigned from the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs over the ban, amid accusations that the government was pandering to media hype.
23rd July, 2010
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