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Sunday 17 December 2017

Man spent 6 days in coma after taking cocaine laced with Prince death drug

Derek Foran and two friends were taken to hospital after taking cocaine laced with fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince
Derek Foran and two friends were taken to hospital after taking cocaine laced with fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince

A fitness instructor spent six days in a coma and almost died after collapsing from taking cocaine laced with a tranquilliser that contributed to the death of music legend Prince.

Derek Foran (33), who admitted possession of the drug, and two of his friends were rushed to hospital after they took the cocaine while they were at a christening in a west Dublin GAA club.

Gardai found the drug after they searched Foran's clothing following his admittance to hospital.

It was analysed by forensic scientists and found to be cut with fentanyl, the tranquilliser that was implicated in Prince's death.

Concerns

At one stage there were serious concerns for Foran's life, as well as the lives of his friends, but they all survived, a garda sergeant told Tallaght District Court.

The case was before Judge Patricia McNamara for sentencing after she ordered a probation report.

The court heard that Foran had failed to engage with the Probation Service because his sister was sick in the UK and he had travelled to be with her.

His lawyer said Foran was now home and was willing to work with the Probation Service. Adjourning the case to a date in December, Judge McNamara said Foran will have to give priority to working with the Probation Service.

The defendant, of Allenton Avenue, Tallaght, had admitted possession of cocaine at Tallaght Hospital on August 13 last year. An allegation of possession of cocaine for sale or supply was earlier struck out after Foran pleaded guilty to the possession charge.

Sgt Michael Ahern said gardai were called to Tallaght Hospital after three men were taken there when they collapsed at a function at a GAA club.

Sgt Ahern said gardai were told that the men had taken what they thought was cocaine and collapsed.

The sergeant said gardai went to the hospital and found cocaine, worth €110, in two bags of clothing belonging to the defendant.

Sgt Ahern said the drug was analysed and found to be cocaine mixed with fentanyl.

The drug is a synthetic opiate and is toxic in incredibly small doses. Sgt Ahern said the three men spent a number of weeks in hospital.

The court heard that Foran had 25 previous convictions, including for drug-related matters. Defence lawyer George Burns said Foran spent six days in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit in Tallaght before recovering and being released from hospital.

Consequences

Mr Burns said that if anything was going to be a wake-up call for the defendant, then this incident was it.

Mr Burns said Foran is a qualified fitness instructor and has not touched any drugs for nearly a year.

Judge McNamara said she wished to know before sentencing whether Foran had gained any insight into the serious nature of what had happ- ened to him and if he understood the consequences of his actions.

The judge also said this matter should be a "wake-up call for anyone" who even considers taking drugs.

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