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Father warned drug-death student

The father of a journalism student who died after taking MDMA at a nightclub had previously tried to warn her of the dangers of drugs, an inquest heard.

Tayla Woodard, a third-year journalism student at Bournemouth University, collapsed at her boyfriend's home in Worcester Park, south London, in the early hours of March 9 this year.

The pair had been to the Plan B club in Brixton, London, where they had taken MDMA - popularly known as ecstasy.

Paramedics tried to revive the 20-year-old but she died in hospital.

West London Coroners Court heard that toxicology reports showed Ms Woodard had taken 1.64mg/l of MDMA, which was within a fatal range.

Her father, Russell Woodard, told the inquest that he and his wife Julia had spoken with her when she admitted she had started using drugs at university.

Mr Woodard said: "She confessed to us in her first year of university that she had taken drugs.

"At the time I did some research on the internet to find out about the dangers of it. I found it quite hard."

He said he came across advice from other MDMA users in online forums, where some suggested the risk was quite low.

Mr Woodard said: "I spoke to her and said, 'do you think it would be a good idea to carry on taking it, because you don't know what is in it'.

"I think she thought it best not to tell me in future."

Ms Woodard's boyfriend Alex Rickett, a fellow Bournemouth University student, told the inquest she was a frequent drugs user, taking them every two to three weeks.

Detective Constable Ian Moody said that after her death police had found an empty bag of MDMA in Ms Woodard's jacket pocket, suggesting she had taken her own secret stash of the drug that Mr Rickett did not know about.

Mr Woodard said he was "surprised" to hear his daughter was taking drugs so regularly.

Describing a visit home she made to Wadebridge in Cornwall a few weeks before her death, he said she was "in good spirits", had cooked for the family and was on top of concerns about leaving university.

He said: "I commented when she went back what a great visit it had been. There were absolutely no concerns at the time."

The inquest heard that the day before she died, Mr Rickett met her at Worcester Park station after she got the train from Bournemouth to London.

He said they ate a meal from Marks & Spencer and drank wine and vodka before going to the nightclub with friends at around 11pm.

While there, he said they shared about half of a one-gram bag of MDMA that Ms Woodard had brought.

Mr Rickett told coroner Jeremy Chipperfield he had "not a clue" as to who had taken more, but he knew she had used MDMA because "she said she took it".

He also said he "didn't do as much as I would do normally" and that he thought "she did less".

He told the court that as they walked back to his home after being dropped off by a taxi she was "normal" and "mucking about".

They got back shortly after 4am, but while they were brushing their teeth in the bathroom Ms Woodard collapsed.

Mr Rickett, who later left the inquest in tears, said: "She was sitting on the bath when I was cleaning my teeth and that is when she collapsed...

"She just fell backwards into the bath. I ran over and picked her up and moved her on to the bathroom floor."

Mr Rickett said he woke his brother and his mother and they were talked through how to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by emergency service staff while they waited for paramedics.

He told the inquest Ms Woodard was not really conscious and that "her nose went purple" as they tried to revive her.

Paramedics fought to save her but she went into cardiac arrest and died at Kingston Hospital, south west London, shortly after 6.20am.

Mr Moody told the inquest that police concluded Ms Woodard had brought the bag of drugs up from Bournemouth, and that when officers examined the scene they found another empty bag of MDMA in her denim jacket on the bathroom floor.

He said: "There was a bag in the jacket which had remnants of white powder in it.

"That was analysed and found to be MDMA as well."

The coroner confirmed that when he was interviewed by police Mr Rickett said he did not know anything about a second bag.

Recording a verdict of accidental death from MDMA toxicity, Mr Chipperfield said it was "an intentional use of MDMA", not unusual for young people, adding: "Unfortunately on this occasion it had tragic and fatal consequences."

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