Teenager died after ecstasy binge, inquest told
A teenager died at a post-wedding party after admitting swallowing 10 ecstasy tablets in one go, an inquest heard today.
Wayne Lynas boasted he had taken a large quantity of the Class A drug before falling unconscious in a friend`s flat in Rathcoole, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.
Belfast Coroner`s Court heard the 18-year-old had also been drinking and smoking cannabis in the hours before he died.
Mr Lynas`s girlfriend, Connie Armstrong, said that the party got underway in the early hours of June 7, 2003 after her uncle`s wedding reception in Carrickfergus.
She said: "When we got to the flat Wayne was showing off and telling everyone he had taken 10 E`s.
"He was completely wiped out."
Ms Armstrong, who fought back tears as her statement was read out, said Wayne was then sick in the toilet.
Afterwards she wanted him to go to hospital but he refused.
As the night wore on he became increasingly agitated and began sweating profusely.
Wayne then fell unconscious and Connie`s sister Gina advised her to turn him on his front, the hearing was told.
Connie said: "I turned him over and could see his face was blue so was his body down to his waist."
"Lorene (Connie`s sister) phoned an ambulance and I stayed with Wayne as all this was happening.
"When the crew arrived at the flat they had put a heart monitor on his chest and then told us he was dead and there was nothing more they could do."
Connie said Mr Lynas, of Nendrum Gardens, Rathcoole, used drugs at weekends and had previously taken up to 10 ecstasy tablets in one night.
But on the night he died, she told the inquest: "He said he had taken them all at once."
The couple, who had been together for three years, had been due to go on holiday a few weeks after the tragedy.
Wayne`s father, Ian Lynas, told the inquest he was aware his son smoked cannabis and took ecstasy.
But Mr Lynas said the teenager was not addicted to drugs but rather took them to socialise.
The inquest also heard Wayne, an apprentice plumber, started taking drugs around two years before his death.
Mark Hawkes, who hosted the party, thought Wayne was joking when he claimed to have taken 10 tablets.
But Mr Hawkes said: "I have seen him taking E`s before.
"I have seen him take 10 E`s in a day or so but never all together."
None of the witnesses saw Wayne swallow any tablets on the day he died or admitted knowing where he got his drugs from.
The inquest was told the street value of a ecstasy tablet was around £10.
Constable Tara Lundy, who was called to the flat after Wayne died, said no drugs were found on him.
Coroner John Leckey ruled the teenager died from ecstasy poisoning.
Mr Leckey said: "I am not surprised to learn that Wayne died after taking 10 ecstasy tablets.
"I have held inquests where deaths have resulted from a much smaller number of tablets being taken.
"From the evidence here it seems Wayne had taken 10 tablets.
"But the fatal difference was that he took them all at once."
The Coroner expressed his sympathies to Wayne`s loved ones and said he hoped lessons could be learned from his death.
He added: "Hopefully some good will ensue from this tragedy and it may act as a salutary warning to those who take ecstasy that it is a very dangerous way to enjoy oneself."