Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid after tragic teen death

By Dave Whelan

TRIBUTES have been flooding in for the 19-year-old girl who is believe to have died after taking a leathal cocktail of drugs in south Belfast.

Paula Crothers, a hairdressing student at Belfast Central Training, died after being taken to hospital by paramedics from a house in Ravenhill Avenue on August 21.

At the time of her death a 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a drugs offence but a police spokesperson said that their have been no charges brought and the investigation is still ongoing.

Two other men who attended the party later presented themselves at the Royal Victoria Hospital for a check-up but have since been released after receiving treatment.

Friends and family of the Dundonald woman have paid tribute to the vibrant, sociable and popular young woman on social media.

Rhianne English wrote on her Facebook page: "Devastated! Such a beautiful life gone, rest easy babe ."

Another wrote: "Such a beautiful girl! ... shocking news, lost for words. Will always be in my thoughts.. Night paula.. R.I.P xxxx".

It is not yet known whether the death is being linked to a suspected bad batch of illegal ecstasy pills thought to be the cause of up to eight deaths in the area over the past few months.

East Belfast councillor Gavin Robinson said that Paula had been at an extended party where young people were consuming "a cocktail of alcohol, legal highs and stimulants and illegal drugs" and warned that drugs were destroying people and their families in the area.

"The death of Paula Crothers is a tragedy," the DUP man said.

"What has happened is another disastrous indicator there is no safe intake of drugs, illegal or legal. As an issue in east Belfast, this is something we will have to take back to the Community Safety Partnership. The community is being plagued with drugs and young people are losing their lives."

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