Belfast Telegraph

'It's madness to take drugs when you've no idea what they are or their effect'

Alan McKenzie (26), died after an all-weekend party

By Claire Williamson

A man was found dead by his friend in his bedroom after no-one had heard from him following an all-weekend party of drink and drugs.

On the weekend of his death, Alan John William McKenzie (26), known as Alio, from Bendigo Street, Belfast, had attended a barbecue at his parent's house

He then continued to drink with friends from Sunday until midday on Monday.

The pathologist described the bar manager as a "healthy man" who died as a result of "poisoning by drugs."

He said: "There can be no doubt that death was caused by the combined effect of these drugs specifically 4,4-Dimethylaminorex, MDMA and cocaine."

Following the weekend party, Mr McKenzie's friends grew concerned when they hadn't heard from him.

His friend Ryan Armstrong checked his house twice.

On the second time, on June 25, he found Mr McKenzie lying on his bed with his arms on his chest and his mouth open.

He said: "I couldn't help think he could have been in that room on Monday when I checked."

Ryan Strachan was at the party and described Alio as being "wiped out".

The court heard that drugs were being taken but he could not differentiate between Ecstasy and the lethal 'speckled cherries'.

Mr Strachan agreed with the coroner that he thought they were all Ecstasy tablets.

Mr McKenzie's sister Andrea McKenzie said in a statement: "It was not unusual for Alan to party right through the weekend."

His ex-partner, Pauline Rush, said she was concerned that Mr McKenzie was getting in with a "bad crowd".

Her statement read to the court indicated that Mr McKenzie may have had problems with depression.

When she heard of Mr McKenzie's death she said: "I feel totally numb inside and I just can't believe that Alio is dead."

Mr McKenzie's father said his son did not "abuse alcohol or drugs".

Coroner Suzanne Anderson said: "It is absolute madness to take drugs when you have no idea what they are or how they can affect you.

"We have heard that the effects can be unpredictable. I just hope that lessons can be learned from these tragic deaths," she added.

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