An Albury man was yesterday committed to stand trial on charges of manslaughter, recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and drug supplying over allegedly provided liquid ecstasy at a party.
Vaughan Heath McDonald, 36, appeared in Albury Local Court through a video link and was committed for trial by magistrate Gordon Lerve, who adjourned the charges for a District Court call-over on January 19.
Solicitor Tim Hemsley said McDonald intended to plead not guilty to the offences.
He was charged after the death of Cassandra Harper, 19, earlier this year.
The court was told by a Director of Public Prosecutions representative that McDonald was asked for drugs by Willy Armor at a party in Olive Street on January 13.
McDonald went home and returned a short time later with a bottle similar to a soy sauce bottle which was labelled “prawn syrup”.
Five people went into a bedroom, Mr Armor got a teaspoon and McDonald said: “Don’t let it touch your tonsils. It has a foul taste and might make you spew”.
McDonald poured brown liquid onto the spoon and Mr Armor drank it.
It touched the back of his throat and he vomited into the toilet.
Ms. Harper drank some of the liquid, then alcohol, and three others had half a spoonful before Mr Armor had more.
Ms. Harper went outside and began vomiting, Mr. Armor collapsed in the backyard and hit his head on the clothes line.
McDonald said: “Give them half an hour and they’ll be standing.
“Just give them half an hour and they’ll be right. Give them lots of water.”
Another man who was feeling sick rang 000 and was taken by ambulance to hospital.
The ambulance officers returned to assist Ms. Harper who was unconscious and Mr. Armor who was suffering a decreased level of consciousness.
Three people were admitted to intensive care where they were sedated and intubated, with Mr Armor and another man regaining consciousness and being released on January 15.
Ms. Harper did not regain consciousness, her condition worsened and she was flown to the Austin Hospital in Melbourne on January 15 before dying the following afternoon.
She died from multiple organ failure and ecstasy (MDMA) toxicity.
A search of McDonald’s residence failed to recover the “prawn syrup” bottle.
14 Dec, 2010 08:30 AM
Trial over Albury 'liquid ecstasy' death